River Otters

meet Pee Dee and Rocky

read our press release here

 

Meet our two new North American river otters - Pee Dee and Rocky! 

The two, 9-month-old otters, both male, come from a litter of otter pups born at Milwaukee County Zoo in Milwaukee, WI as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan®(SSP) Program. Their mother and sister are both still at Milwaukee County Zoo.

Both Pee Dee and Rocky are named after North Carolina rivers and will share a space with the Aquarium’s current otters, Eno and Neuse, also both males. Pee Dee and Rocky will be kept separate from the older otters while they adjust to their new home and each other.

Otter introductions can take anywhere from one week to several months as the Aquarium animal care team follows specific steps during the process.

The first phase of introductions will be auditory and olfactory, the second will be visual introductions, the third is shared space with limited tactile contact, and the fourth is physical introduction.


Frequently Asked Questions

North American river otters can be found across most of North America and Canada, except in some southwest areas and Mexico. They are semi-aquatic and spend time on land and in the water. Female otters mostly live alone, while male otters live in small social groups like the one at the Aquarium. Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about our new otters. 

How old are they?  ​They were born on February 26, 2022 (9 months old)

Where did they come from?  ​Milwaukee County Zoo

When will we be able to see them?  You can see Rocky and Pee Dee in the habitat and you can still see Eno and Neuse in the habitat.

​When will we see the four otters together? Current;y visitors will be able to see two otters together at a time while the new otters and older otters are being introduced. Otter introductions can take anywhere from one week to several months depending on how comfortable the otters are with each other. 

What steps are included in otter introductions? We will follow specific steps and progression from one step to the next will be dictated by the behavior and body language of the otters. Step 1 - Auditory and olfactory intros  Step 2 - Visual intros  Step 3 - Shared space with limited tactile contact  Step 4 - Physical intros  

The amount of time it will take with each step will depend on how our otters and the new kids react to one another.  So, it's challenging to say when precisely all four boys will be together.

Do otters normally live together in a group?  ​Males live together in groups. A group of otters is called a ROMP.  Females are more solitary.

How did they get their names? We have named our otters after Rivers in North Carolina and had staff vote on the names of these two boys. Caretakers needed to have names quickly in order to work with them behind the scenes. 


Otter Videos

Enjoy some cute otter footage

 

 

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