Tadpole is an African Spotted Throat Otter.

There are seven genera of otters and 13 species. Of these there are three species of clawless otters that search through the mud with their paws for their food; one species of giant otter that can get up to 4.5 feet in head-body length with a three-foot tail; and one species of sea otter. All inhabit fresh water areas except the sea otter. There are eight species of river otters, and I will concentrate on two species: The North American river otter also called the Canadian otter, Lutra canadensis and the African spotted-throat otter, Lutra maculicollis. Much of the information is the same for both species.

Otters are animals that spend the major portion of their waking hours in the water. All river otters live near streams or other fresh water sources. They are from 18 to 32 inches long from head to base of tail, with a tail from 12 to 18 inches long. They weigh from 7 to 32 lb. The males are usually larger than the females in all species. The tail is thick at the base tapering to a point. The head and neck are the same diameter. They have short legs with webbed feet. Their ears are small and they are able to close both ears and nostrils at will. Their fur is very short and extremely dense. It is dark brown and often lighter underneath. The African spotted-throat otter (often called spot-neck otter) has irregular white spots that are co-joined which can be under the jaw, neck chest and abdomen area.

Otters are very playful animals and this is a major portion of their daily life. They eat most water creatures including fish, frogs, crustaceans, mollusks, etc. They will also eat land mammals and birds.

Mating and gestation depend on species and geographical location. They are polyestrus (cycle several times a year) with a mean gestation of about 63 days. Litters are from 1 to 5 which area weaned at 12 to 16 weeks. The baby otters begin to swim at 8 weeks of age. They are long-lived and can attain over 20 years of age.

Tadpole's headstudy
Tadpole's coat is sleek and shiney and he eats chicken and fish every day.

In Captivity
Otters must be provided with a water source for swimming. Since they may drag food into it or use it as a potty area, it must be cleaned often. Babies must be hand-raised to have them gentle enough for interaction. Otters, as playful as they may seem can be extremely aggressive when not hand-raised.

The diet should consist of meat, fish, and vitamins. We grind chicken, including bones, horse meat, and mix with ground fish, cat chow, vitamins and minerals and water. We mix a large batch and freeze it in individual portions. Otters are very intelligent and can learn with positive motivation training. We furnish a complete diet and care instructions with all of our animals.


R-Zu-2-U Home

R-Zu-2-U FAQs

R-Zu-2-U Animal "Terms"

Treasure Ranch Home