Another Otter

River Otter (Lontra canadensis). Photo by James Kusz.

Park visitor James Lusz captured this image of a River Otter (Lontra canadensis) working the north shore of the park last week. The otter swam west as fast as James was able to follow it by walking.

This is only the second River Otter imaged at the park in recent years. The first was in March of this year.

Despite the name, as pointed out earlier, these otters are not confined to rivers. They do well in salt water and fresh, and are capable travelers and hunters on land as well.

There’s a good local-angle article on these mammals by Pat McGowan in Bay Nature three years back. For decades they were thought extinct in the Bay Area, but then they began reappearing in Marin County, and have since been spotted as deep in the East Bay as Lake Temescal in Oakland. There’s a nonprofit devoted to otter conservation an restoration; it’s the River Otter Ecology Project.

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