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Spotted-necked otters range in color from chocolate brown to reddish brown, with blotches of white along the chest and neck. They have dense, water repellent fur, and fully webbed front and back paws with sharp claws. They have small but sharp teeth.

Diet: A large portion of this species’ diet consists of fish, with cichlids, barbell, and catfish being favorites. Spotted-necked otters can also consume crabs, insects, and frogs when fish are scarce.

In the Wild: Spotted-necked otters are found near lakes, rivers, and swamps with dense vegetation coverage. They are mainly diurnal and spend nights in dense vegetation, rock cavities, or dens dug in the shore bank. They are not territorial and can be found in groups of up to 20 individuals, though they typically hunt on their own. 

Conservation issues/actions: Pollution and degradation of freshwater habitats (typically due to unsustainable agricultural practices) are their biggest threats. Other threats include conflicts with the local human population over fish and seafood resources, and becoming trapped in fishing nets. Otters are also killed for food, fur, and medicinal purposes.

At the Zoo:

Their diet consists of sustainably harvested fish and squid, and the occasional meatball. Here at the Reid Park Zoo, in conjunction with our conservation outreach partner Monterey Bay Aquarium, we support sustainably sourced seafood. The otters also have a fondness for cucumber that is used for training and presentation purposes.

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Classifications

Species Name:
African Spotted-Necked Otters
Scientific Name:
Lutra maculicollis
Continent:
Africa
Proud Parents:
Susan Rubin
Jason Neild
Tom McElhaney
Alex B. Atherton
Nancy Smith
Grethe Trondsen
Mila Garro
Madeleine Brown
Hannah Newman
Kaylah Cook
Hermosa Montessori Charter School Elder Way
Gail Hartzell
Kathy Petri
Sage Caccamise
Austin Reese
Ana Marin
Lisa Carotenuto
Alaura Snider & Katie Petersen-Snider
Samantha Skolnick
Madeline N. Zimmermann
Suzan Koch
Stephen Buckley
Susan Rubin
Debb & Dann Oebker
Lisa Smith
Kalea Crofts
Jeaneen Kelly
Melanie Parchman
Dawson Jones
The Schwerins
Stacy Vicor
Brian & Maria Bostick
Christine Teale
Isadora Friedman
Kaiash Talwar
Susan Smith
Ellery Lockwood
Olivia Longacre Earvolino
Kristen Sanders
Samantha Danker
Nicole Palacios
Robert Mcclelon
Jack Wilcox
Renee Williams
Abigail Robles
Linda Mariano
Brett Kaczynski
Catherine Lipsy
Kayla Miller for Pfeiffer the Otter
Myranda Christensen
Victoria Callison
Joseph & Judy Abdai
Rafael Strashny
Flynn Dickson
Tobias Boerner-Mercier
Alex Newman
Meghan Smith
Luis Ortega
Charles Hill
Brittany Betterton
Cade Weber
Dani Williams