Appearance: From their webbed feet to their rudder-like tails and extra eyelids that act as goggles, river otters are well-adapted for a life in the water. Typical adults have long, muscular bodies measuring three to four feet long; about a third of that length is their tails.
Range: River otters can be found in a variety of freshwater habitats including streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and marshes. Their dens are often dug into the bank of a stream, or they may utilize an old beaver lodge, muskrat house, or even a hollow tree. While they have few natural predators, trapping, habitat destruction, and water quality remain their largest threat. Otters were brought back from the brink of extinction in the state of North Carolina. Reintroduction programs and improvement of water quality has led to this success.
Diet: River otters eat fish and crayfish and can also eat mollusks, crabs, amphibians, rodents, birds, eggs, and reptiles.
Date of Birth: February 2004
Olive was born in the wild and came to the WNC Nature Center in May 2004. Even though Olive is older than Obi-Wan, she is smaller than he is.
Date of Birth: March 2009
Obi-Wan was born at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in Pennsylvania. He came to the WNC Nature Center in January 2010. Obi-Wan’s name was chosen through a contest at the WNC Nature Center in 2010. Besides size, another way to tell him apart from Olive is by his light blonde chin and chest.