Any kind of otter used to be rarely offered for sale. While there were occasional ads for otters popping up in the past, they again became nearly impossible to find, that is until recently. Now, as of 2020, baby otters are seen for sale throughout the year on exotic animal classifieds sites, Facebook groups and breeder websites, therefore it is important that prospective owners know what they could potentially be getting into. Be forewarned that due to their popularity, otters might be a popular animal for scammers to advertise for sale with no intention of sending you anything.
Otters are actually related to ferrets. They are in the family Mustelidae, which also includes stoats, weasels, badgers, and minks. The Asian small-clawed otter is a social species that is often seen in large groups. They are found in the Philippines, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, parts of China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and India . In the wild, they are mainly carnivorous and they consume crustaceans, mollusks, frogs, fish, and sometimes octopus .
Enclosure: This will likely be the biggest hurdle when it comes to owning otters. Otters are semi-aquatic and it would probably be detrimental to the animal to keep one without frequent access to a pool to swim in. This pool would need to be warm (around 80-85 degrees) and filtered or changed often. Their environment should also have complexity such as dens, digging sites, plants, and other components (for outdoor enclosures). Someone who keeps otters indoors should be aware that they scent mark and may become stressed if the enclosure is cleaned entirely . Otters should have access to a nest box at all times .
One Otter or Two? These extremely social animals may have compromised welfare when kept solitary. It is recommended to keep them in pairs or groups in zoos , but perhaps an owner that spends ample time with their pet can make up for this. Unfortunately, not all otters will be compatible . This, of course, will exacerbate the expense of owning them.
Enrichment: All animals should have forms of enrichment, but complex enrichment is even more essential for active animals like otters. In the wild, Asian small-clawed otters spend 40-60% of their time actively searching for food , making them a challenge to keep busy. Otters should have a portion of their diet incorporated into their enrichment program to keep them mentally stimulated and to accommodate their method of feeding, of which they prefer to consume food a little at a time, frequently. This includes scatter-feeding, toys and objects where treats can be inserted, and feeding puzzles. Foods that are not part of the main diet can be enrichment, such as whole vegetables and fruit . Canine dental bones can also be used. Target and clicker training is enrichment that is also important for husbandry .
That thick coat is needed because otters are the only marine mammal without a blubber layer for insulation. To improve their insulating qualities, otters spend five hours grooming their hair each day.
Otters reach swim speeds of up to 7 miles per hour. This pace is three times faster than the average human swimmer. Otters can hold their breath for 3-4 minutes, closing their nostrils and ears to keep out water. Powerful tails propel them through the water. River otters have webbing between their toes to aid them as well.
Before getting otters for sale near me you should know that the otter does have a natural odor that you may want to consider when placing their caging. All otters are able to climb wire fencing, bushes and trees so a roof is recommended or a solid wall barrier.
Also there needs to be a solid flooring or wire dug down to about 3 feet below the walls to stop from the otter digging out. They need an area to be able to exercise, forage and digging. A clean water source to be able to swim in daily.
The water temperature needs to be about 75 degree Fahrenheit. Dry bedding or area with dry flooring needs to be available at all times. If the otter does not have an area to dry off and does stay wet for extended periods, it will lead to health issues.
The Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest species of otter. It is the most common type trapped and sold as pets. Many Asian countries have taken measures to protect them through bans and regulation.
Otters are wild animals. Owning native otters is illegal in many countries including the UK, Japan, and the U.S. Yet otters are still being illegally smuggled into these countries to be sold as pets.
Aggression when stressed. When otters are agitated or stressed they can bite and become aggressive. Their bite is sharp and piercing. If you are bit by an otter, you'll need to treat the wound immediately. Also watch for signs of bacterial infection to the wound.
Otters like to climb and dig, so your enclosure will need a top and to be dug into the ground. The best enclosure for an otter is outside. Living inside comes with many challenges, like cleaning up otter feces and keeping your furniture intact. Otters can be destructive and are difficult to housetrain.
Otters can also be loud and destructive. They can cause damage to your home and hurt other animals in your family. Dogs and otters do not get along. If you have a dog in your home, they can get into fights with your otter.
Dogs and otters can transmit diseases to each other as well. Dogs can infect otters with canine distemper and rabies. Otters can give dogs Salmonella, just like humans. Otters may bite when threatened and are not good housemates.
They need plenty of space to roam and to be with their family. They thrive in social settings within their natural habitat. Sadly, due to the difficulties that come with owning an otter, many are abandoned or discarded to rescue groups.
There is no cuter sight than an otter floating around on its back with its little paws folded on its belly. They look like aquatic teddy bears from a distance, but if you get up close, you soon realize not everything about the otter is quite so adorable.
Wild otters all have a few things in common, including their basic physiology and love of water. With their dense fur coats and webbed feet, they are perfectly adapted to an aquatic environment and spend most of their time in the water.
Even with that thick fur, otters have had to make physiological adaptations so they can keep warm. Sea otters live in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and rely on their fast metabolisms to generate enough heat to stay warm.
Another characteristic shared by all otter species is that they are one of the few animals to have inbuilt pockets! Under their forearms, otters have flaps of skin into which they can stash food and useful tools like rocks.
Despite its adorable appearance, the otter can be surprisingly merciless and violent if the situation demands it. Studies have discovered a nasty side to the sea otter, with scientists observing males harassing and sexually interacting with young harbor seals.
What we do know is that some populations of sea otters are gradually recovering after being virtually decimated during the 18th and 19th centuries, when they were heavily hunted for their rich fur pelts.
Sadly, the latest exotic pet trend has seen other otter species diminishing. The Asian small-clawed otter was once abundant throughout most of Southeast Asia, but their population is declining rapidly. Other otters are near threatened, while others, like the hairy-nosed otter, are facing possible extinction.
Giant otters eat mainly fish, while other species, including the endangered southern otter, experiment with birds, preying on gulls, cormorants, and western grebes. Other otter species also take rodents and even rabbits if the opportunity arises.
An otter experiencing stress or anxiety can become extremely aggressive, attacking its owners and biting other animals. These bites are deep and painful and require immediate treatment to reduce the risk of bacterial infection.
River otters like the Asian small-clawed otter have huge home ranges in the wild, utilizing up to 20km of riverine habitat. This is impossible to replicate in a home environment, making it difficult for most to provide adequate housing. An enclosure suitable for a medium-sized dog is nowhere near big enough for an otter.
Many otters are already endangered species, and their populations are decreasing. The sea otter, giant otter, smooth-coated otter, and Eurasian otter are all endangered or near threatened, according to the IUCN, and more extensive conservation efforts will be required to reverse the current trend.
The Asian small-clawed and smooth-coated otters were placed under the highest level of protection by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2019 to combat illegal poaching for the exotic pet trade.
It is possible to find a legal alternative to keeping an otter in those places where doing so could land you on the wrong side of the law. Otters are similar to weasels and ferrets, which are legal to own in most states, while monkeys can be just as entertaining (and as smelly)!
You may be able to track down a broker or breeder but will have to join a long waiting list. For a while, pet otters occasionally appeared on sites, but you need to be cautious because of their vulnerable status in the wild.
Not only is a home environment not suitable for the welfare of otters, but this relationship can also have some undesirable consequences for their human owners, as they can be loud, destructive and can inflict nasty bites. As a result, these pets are often abandoned. Rescue groups say they are struggling to keep up with the large numbers of unwanted otters arriving in their care, often having suffered malnutrition and mutilations to make them less of a nuisance in the home (such as teeth or scent glands removed).
The growing demand on the market for pet otters has seen an increase in low-welfare backyard breeding facilities, and poaching from the wild, particularly in Thailand. Because otter parents are so fiercely protective, poachers in Thailand use dogs to sniff their dens and then kill the parents in order to steal the cubs to be sold on the illegal online market. As the popularity of "cute" otter video rises, populations in the wild decline. 781b155fdc