Meet Our Otters

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Happy Birthday!

We’re excited to announce that two of our river otters are about to celebrate a birthday! On February 25, brothers Baxter and Ryer will be turning two years old.  

Baxter and Ryer were born at the Oakland Zoo, and joined us at Aquarium of the Bay in March 2014. Since then, they have been enjoying quality time with our otter biologists, learning new skills, and delighting guests with their antics.
 
Join us on Wednesday, February 25 at 2 pm as we celebrate Baxter and Ryer’s birthdays with special fish-filled birthday treats (yum!).




Learn more about river otters like Baxter and Ryer during daily otter chats in our River Otter Gallery.

Where: Otters: Watershed Ambassadors
When: 11 am & 2 pm, Daily
Length: 15 minutes 

Join a naturalist as they introduce our favorite watershed ambassador: the North American river otter. Learn about these charismatic mammals, how they differ from their sea otter cousins, and find out how you can help keep their homes in the wild healthy and clean. Guests may even have a chance to catch an otter training session during a special appearance by our animal care staff.


What's the difference between Sea Otters and River Otters?

River otters and sea otters have some things in common, such as:
  • They’re both a type of weasel with long, slender bodies
  • They have webbed feet for swimming, and are excellent underwater hunters
  • They have two layers of fur to keep warm in cold water
  • A group of otters in the water is called a “raft.”
Here’s how river otters are different from sea otters:

River Otters   Sea Otters
Are about 20-25 pounds   Are about 50-100 pounds
Live in fresh water, like rivers and lakes, and slightly salty water, like in the Bay   Live in salt water, in the ocean
Spend half their time on land and half in the water   Almost never leave the water
Swim on their bellies   Float on their backs
Have little paws and can run quickly on land            Have wide webbed feet, and are really awkward on land, like they’re wearing SCUBA flippers
Eat their food on land or on a rock or log   Eat their food off their belly as they float on their backs
Sleep in dens underground   Sleep wrapped in a kelp “seatbelt”
Eat fish, frogs, crayfish, bugs, rats, and birds   Eat urchins, crabs, clams, octopuses