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Otters Return to San Francisco


New video from Oakland, California shows a river otter in San Francisco Bay. It’s one more sighting of the adored animal that for thirty years been essentially wiped out of the Bay Area ecosystem.  A river otter made another appearance on Monday at the Richmond Marina, showing one more sign of a resurgence of the cute and playful animal.

This is Sutro Sam, San Francisco's first resident river otter in thirty years.


At the Oakland Zoo, the otter sighting was welcome news Tuesday.


“I’ve heard about them in Walnut Creek. They’re coming out everywhere,” said Senior Otter Keeper at the Oakland Zoo, Andrea Dougall, “it’s great news for our environment, for our water, it means fish is returning, the fish is healthy and living longer.  It means the otters are coming around and looking for more. Their numbers are increasing and they’re looking for places to go.”


Dougall, who also works with the River Otter Ecology Project, says that as recently as the nineties, there were no otters in the Bay Area at all because of water pollution and hunting.  Recently, however, they’ve been spotted all over, in places like Lake Temescal and Lake Merritt in Oakland, the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, and in numerous locations in Marin.


“They’re doing better reproducing, you know, the pups are surviving longer, and they’re able to disperse to new areas, looking for new habitats,” said Dougall.

This is also Sutro Sam, named for the Sutro Baths he took up residence in.


















Since they are being seen so often, and because they appear to be so playful, Dougall warns you should not see them as anything but cranky.


“They have very sharp teeth and they actually have the third strongest bite of any North American mammal,” said Dougall. “So, those things combined, not so good for people.”


Rice, who shot the Richmond video, told KTVU he saw the otter in the same spot again on Tuesday.


Happy Ottersday :#)


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