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History in Managed Care
Zoos and Wildlife Parks
- Fewer than 40 spot-necked otters in institutions in North America as of 2010. (ISIS 2010)
- The Washington D.C. National Zoological Park first housed North American river otters in 1913; in 1915 they had the first successful North American births.
- The London Zoo bred Eurasian (or European) river otters in 1836, 1846, and 1856.
- In 1990 the Toronto Zoo opened their spot-necked otter exhibit.
- The San Diego Zoo's Ituri Forest provides a naturalistic habitat where other species such as the Allen's Swamp Monkey can interact with these often playful spot-necked Otters.
- Otters weren't often kept in zoos or aquariums before the 1950s. (Bell 2001)
- At end of 20th century, only two institutions in North America housed spot-necked otters. (Bell 2001)
- Minimum habitat requirements originally obstacles to keeping these mammals in managed care (Bell 2001)
- Access to cool, clean water
- Plenty of dry land
- Other otters for companionship
- Additional requirements necessary for otters' well being (Benza et al 2009)
- At least 150 sq m (1,615 sq ft) space recommended for two animals on exhibit, with 50 sq m (538 sq ft) for each additional animal.
- These otters especially enjoy waterfalls, islands, mud slides
- To be able to dry their fur, otters need clean mulch, sand, or soil.
- Access to dens or resting places away from public eye necessary for lowering stress.
- Safe places to dig, climb, explore, swim, play.
- Other species with which to interact.
Spot-Necked Otter & Guenon
Benza et al (2009)
SDZWA Library Links
Fact Sheet Index
Fact sheet index, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library
Home page, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library
Email the librarians at email@example.com