delware environmental institute

River otters: UD grad student researches river otters, 'class clowns' of the animal kingdom

River otters: UD grad student researches river otters, 'class clowns' of the animal kingdom

11:08 a.m., Dec. 20, 2011--If high school existed in the animal kingdom, the river otter would be voted “class clown.” These curious and playful creatures have been known to chase sticks, play hide-and-seek and roll around in the grass. They’re loud, too. While playing, they bark, whistle, squeal and growl.

 

“A few years ago, I went to Centennial Park in Milton one Saturday and saw three river otters splashing around. They kept diving into the water and popping back up,” recalls Jason Beale, manager of Abbott’s Mill Nature Center in Milford. “The otters were a lot of fun to watch and they didn’t care that people were around.”

The North American river otter is native to Delaware and at one point was found throughout North America. But their range has been greatly reduced due to habitat loss and their sensitivity to environmental pollution.