Skip to Content
North American river otter sitting on land
All Animals

North American River Otter

Otters are playful animals, often seen burrowing through the snow, sliding through mud and splashing in the water. Many "play" activities actually serve a purpose; some strengthen social bonds, others practice hunting techniques or serve to scent mark.


Animal Facts

Scientific Name

Lontra canadensis


An extremely adaptable animal, otters tolerate hot and cold climates, as well as high elevations and lowland coastal waters, and can be found in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes throughout much of North America to Canada and Alaska. They often live in the same areas as beavers. They prefer unpolluted water with a minimal human disturbance.

Location in the Zoo

John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo

Cool Animal Fact

Abandoned beaver dams are their favorite places for resting and raising their young.

How We Help Save Them

The Houston Zoo is single-use plastic straw, bag, and bottle free – preventing 400,000 pieces of single-use plastics from entering bayous, lakes, and oceans each year.

How You Can Help

Donate to help save river otters in the wild

Donate Today