WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – They say all good things must come to an end, and that’s true for Animals Up Close, but our final visit to the Oglebay Good Zoo this year didn’t disappoint!
It was pouring down rain, which the North American river otter may have preferred.
Although they’re considered native animals because they live around here, you won’t get this close to one in the wild.
Sisters Paso and Catori turned 15 this year, but you’d never know that’s old for an otter.
These animals live half their life in water, but you probably can’t hold your breath as long as they can.
“These guys can actually hold their breath for eight minutes under water,” explained Mindi White from the Oglebay Good Zoo.
Which helps them find food.
Speaking of their food, river otters eat things like muscles and crayfish, so they need sharp teeth.
“To be able to chomp through the bones of those fish,” White continued. “They chomp through it and they eat it, so they have to be able to chomp that up into little baby pieces.”
To find food in the wild, they also need to be strong swimmers.
“They use their webbed feet to help them swim and stand up on wet rocks,” said Animals Up Close winner nine-year-old Camden. “The tail is there to help them swim.”
That tail also helps them periscope.
“So they can look around their environment,” White said. “See how low they are to the ground? They have to have a way to look around more, so they actually use that to flip up on their hind legs.”
Something else that makes Paso and Catori unique in the otter world is their size.
“There are about 12 different species of otters in the world,” continued white. “These guys are among the smallest. There’s one other species that’s smaller than these guys and they’re from Asia, the Asian small pods. The biggest otter there is is from the Amazon River.”
The Oglebay Good Zoo is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and on the weekends from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
If you’d like to meet Paso and Catori, the zoo does do animal encounters.
For more information call 304-243-4100, or visit the zoo’s website.