The Wild Center family is expanding this summer with the arrival of two male North American river otters. The pair make their debut in Otter Falls on Saturday, June 22 from 10am to 5pm, which also marks The Wild Center's inaugural You Otter Run/Walk 5K benefitting the Center's Betsy Lowe Fund for Adirondack Education.
The pair began their journey to The Wild Center in Ohio where they were trapped as nuisance animals. Crayfish farmers in Ohio often trap North American river otters as their diet subsists of crayfish, as well as snakes, frogs and fish. These trapped river otters are often slated to be killed and used for fur, or in some cases, relocated to areas without enough food to survive. The Wild Center's Animal Care staff was made aware of their situation and jumped at the opportunity to rescue the pair. The otters join the Center's three other otters: Louie, Scarlett, and Squirt.
Currently unnamed, the otters will be welcomed by a group of youths from Akwesasne as they learn about the mammals, then discover suitable names in the Kaniehkehaka language. The naming project works to keep the spirit alive of the lasting Ways of Knowing partnership between The Wild Center and the Haudenosaunee community.