Otters are one of the most interesting mammals on our planet. These cute animals belong to the Weasel family. According to official records, there are 13 different species of otters that live almost on every continent.
Due to their beautiful pelt, otters are often targeted by hunters and this is the reason why many countries have passed laws that protect these animals. Still, the fact is that their number is dropping because of illegal hunting.
What is interesting is that otters are considered to be one of the most intelligent animals that belong to the Weasel family. For instance, they can use rocks to cracks shells in order to consume food.
Otters are not kept as pets because they need special conditions to live a healthy life, but there are many otters that live in captivity (in research centers, zoos etc.).
How long do otters live?
When it comes to the lifespan of these animals, we must say that there is no exact answer to the question “How long do otters live?” However, according to many experts who have worked with these animals, their average lifespan is around ten years. Yet, there is information that they can reach 20 years when they are n captivity.
There are many different factors that affect the longevity of otters. For example, as we already said there are different species. Some say that the Sea Otter lives longer than other otters. Namely, the oldest sea otter died at the age of 28 (she died at the Seattle Aquarium). The lifespan of other species like the Giant River Otter or the Lutra Lutra Otter is more or less the same.
Surprising facts about otters
Otters are very lively animals and they love to play. So, if they are developing and living in a suitable environment, this is something that can extend their lifespan. For example, they are known for their passion for climbing and running.
Another thing that is important when it comes to their health and wellbeing is the food they consume. If the otter gets all the right nutrients, they should live longer. The natural diet of these animals includes frogs, fish, birds, rabbits and eels. In order to stay healthy, they need to consume up to ¼ of their own body weight. This is the reason why otters are so active and spend several hours a day hunting.
Otters that live in nature can live even longer if it wasn’t for the construction activity expansion by humans. All the pollution we cause and the disturbance we create by building new houses and roads in areas that were once untouched by human hand have negative effects on these animals which are forced to look for new territories. Even though otters have proven to be adaptable animals, many of them can’t make quick changes and lose their lives. Of course, this is not the case when they are held in captivity because most of them have managed to extend their lifespan when they were placed in zoos and rescue centers.