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River Otter

Lontra canadensis

Geographic Region: Canada, the delta areas of the Rio Grande and the Colorado River in Mexico, the United States (with the exception of areas of southern California, New Mexico, Texas, and the Mohave desert of Nevada and Colorado)

Isn’t it Wild? River Otters are semi-aquatic mammals and excellent swimmers. They can swim up to 7 mph and stay under water for up to 8 minutes. They are also fast on land, capable of running up to 18 mph.



Length: 2.5 – 5 ft.

Weight: 11 – 31 lbs.

Zoo Diet

Nebraska Premium Feline, capelin, smelt, eggs, corn on the cobb, carrots, walnuts, beets

Conservation Status

Least Concern

World of Adaptations

Exhibit information

Come explore a World of Adaptations! Animals face numerous challenges in the natural world such as finding shelter and enough food, avoiding predators, and finding mates. However, they have developed adaptations that increase their chances of survival. Adaptations can be physical; the tail of the wallaby helps it balance and change direction as it hops. Adaptations can also be behavioral; gibbons vocalize in the morning to announce their presence to other animals in the area. They can also be a combination of things such as a Komodo dragon’s impressive teeth, sharp claws, and deadly venom. Come and explore a World of Adaptations and see and hear the adaptations of these fascinating creatures including Elsie, the only Komodo dragon at any zoo in New England.

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