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Visit us Friday - Sunday!

Our hours have recently changed! Call 541-476-0222 for current availability.

Our Mission: Saving Wildlife

River Otter

WetNestle_JillWallacePhotos

Lutra canadensi

  • Classification: Mammal
  • Lifespan in Captivity: 16-18yrs
  • Lifespan in the Wild: 8-9yrs
  • Length: 3-3.5ft
  • Weight: 11-30lbs
  • Range: wide distribution across US and Canada, sparse in Great Plains
  • Habitat: aquatic
    • Diet in the Wild: fish, birds, frogs, insects, shellfish
    • Diet at Wildlife Images: fish, chicken, other meats

River otters belong to the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, badgers, martens, ferrets, wolverines, and mink. River otters are excellent swimmers and divers. They are able to stay underwater for up to eight minutes, using their specially adapted ears and nose which they can close to keep water out while they’re submerged. River otters are often seen playing games. They are social, commonly living in family groups made up of an adult female and her pups. Adult males are often solitary but sometimes live in small groups together. River otters live in burrows along riverbanks, usually taking over abandoned dens made by other animals such as beavers. Like the mink, these animals were a staple of the fur trade in the 1700 and 1800s. Female river otters give birth in the spring. Babies are born blind and stay in the den until they’re about one month old. Their mother coaxes them into the water where they learn to swim.

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Visit Us

11845 Lower River Rd., Grants Pass, OR 97526
P.O. Box 36, Merlin OR 97532

Our hours have recently changed.

  • Office/Gift Shop Hours: 9AM - 4PM
  • Guided Tours:  Call for availability  -  541-476-0222
  • Self-Guided: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 10:00 - 2:00                                                                  
  • Adults $14 | Seniors $12
  • Children (ages 4-13) $7
  • Children ages 3 and under by donation

Our Mission: Saving Wildlife

In this pursuit we aim to:

  • Involve people to share in our mission.
  • Educate people about the personal benefits of taking care of wildlife and the environment entrusted to our care.
  • Inspire people to make positive changes improving the world for wildlife.

We Need Your Help

With over 115 animal ambassadors, and over 1,000 sick injured and orphaned animals brought to our center each year - every dollar counts. We rely solely on people like yourself to support the work we do.

We receive no State or Federal funding and depend entirely on private funds to carry out our Mission.