A male North American river otter has arrived at the Akron Zoo and is now in the river otter habitat regularly. Odie came to Akron from the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium and is 12 years old.
In 2007, Odie was found abandoned in his native habitat as a pup before his eyes had opened, so his exact birthdate is unknown. He was rescued and raised by animal care staff at the Texas State Aquarium.
Odie came to the Akron Zoo based on breeding recommendations from the River Otter Species Survival Plan (SSP). Over the coming weeks, animal care staff will introduce Odie to the zoo’s current female Molly. While introductions are being made, Odie and Molly will alternate days out in their habitat. Once the duo is familiar with each other, they will enjoy the habitat together daily.
North American river otters are currently listed as “least concern” thanks to efforts to clean up pollution in local waterways. As an accredited facility through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Akron Zoo participates in the SSP, which is a scientifically-managed breeding program that works to ensure a genetically-diverse population of river otters in zoos and aquariums.