World Otter Day
About World Otter Day
When is World Otter Day? This holiday is celebrated on the last Wednesday in May
World Otter Day celebrates cute and playful aquatic mammals. This day is intended to raise awareness of the importance of otters to the environment and to make people aware of their declining populations and the reasons why. There are thirteen species of otters. All thirteen species are on the Red List of Endangered species. It is important to know why their numbers are declining, and do what you can to help to stabilize and increase their populations.
Otters are aquatic mammals with webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers. If you’ve ever seen them live in the wild, at a zoo, or on an animal nature show, I’m sure you’ll agree that otters are cute and lovable creatures. Otters are members of the weasel family, and dwell on every continent, except Antarctica and Australia. They can be found in a wide variety of waters, including lakes, ponds, rivers streams, estuaries, as well as marshlands, and wetlands.
Otters spend most of their time in the water. Otters live up to 16 years. They are carnivores. Their diet consists of fish, crawfish, mollusks, frogs, small reptiles, and mammals. A hungry otter will also eat birds, small beavers, and even muskrats. Otters are smart animals. For example, they use small rocks as “tools”, to break open hard shells of clams and other mollusks. Otters make their home by digging holes along riverbanks. They have also been known to make their den under porches and decks, making themselves a nuisance to homeowners.
Did You Know? An otter’s den is called a “Holt” or a “Couch”.
Have a Happy World Otter Day!
Otters on the Endangered Species List
With the exception of North America, where their population is fairly stable, otters are decreasing in numbers all around the world. Their numbers have become vulnerable due to several reasons, including:
- Loss of habitat
- Pollution of habitat
- Trapping by humans for their pelts
- They can be a pest to homeowners along waterways and damaging to businesses like hatcheries and commercial fishponds. They then can fall victim to illegal hunting and trapping.
- They are sometimes killed by automobiles on roadways.
How to Celebrate and Participate in World Otter Day
Over twenty countries around the world celebrate World Otter Day. Here’s how you can celebrate:
- On this day, nature preservation groups provide educational programs and research. programs to protect otters. Armed with this information, you can do your part to protect otters, and help to preserve their natural habitat.
- You can also support organizations that strive to do research on otters and influence governmental policies.
- Find out if otters are at your local zoo. Go and see them.
“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… and find someone who’s life has given them Vodka.” – – Ron White
History and Origin of World Otter Day
This holiday was established in 2014, by the International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) in the UK. It is a “World” holiday event, as otters exist on all continents except Antarctica and Australia. All 13 species of otters are vulnerable and at risk for survival.
More About Today
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