Theyre big. Really big. Learn just how big they are on this Wildlife Wednesday.
Let’s pretend that you’re visiting South America, exploring (in an eco-friendly way, of course) the mighty Amazon River, when you happen across an otter that’s longer than you are tall! Congratulations, you’ve just stumbled across the aptly named giant otter.
On this Wildlife Wednesday, we’re going to learn a bit about these oversized carnivores.
Giant otters are found in Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and a score of other South American countries. Specifically, they tend to make their dens in slow-moving areas of the Orinoco, La Plata, and yes, Amazon rivers.
Why are they threatened?
Similar to their much smaller cousins, giant otters have really nice, soft fur, making them the targets of illegal poaching. Other major threats include habitat loss and fragmentation, and water pollution caused by runoff from gold mines.
Fortunately, conservation efforts are underway. Protected areas are speckled throughout South America. One particular program is working to reduce habitat fragmentation by creating a protected natural corridor that the otters can traverse.