Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Robert J. O'Connor

Fact Sheet - Otter


Common Name

North American River Otter

Scientific Name

Lutra canadensis


  • River Otters live in rivers, streams and lakes, with wooded shorelines.
  • River Otters are the largest member of the Mustelidae family, which includes weasels, skunks, ferrets and badgers.
  • River Otters can weigh from 15 to 25 pounds.
  • River Otters are nocturnal (only at night) and during the day they live in underground dens.
  • River Otters have webbed feet for swimming. Their nostrils and ears are able to close when they go under water.
  • A River Otters’ fur is almost waterproof. It is so dense that their skin (at the base of their fur) is kept dry while swimming.
  • River Otters eat fish, crustaceans, crayfish, amphibians, insects, small mammals and birds.
  • River Otters are preyed upon by Bald Eagles, Bears and Coyotes.