Wyatt, a North American river otter, has made Oakland Zoo his new home.
The four-year otter relocated to Oakland from the Abilene Zoo in Texas, where he was given a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Zookeepers are thrilled to have a new male otter to pair up with females Ginger (seven years old) and Rose (two years old).
"Oakland Zoo has been very successful at breeding, so we continue to breed to maintain genetics in the captive population," said Zoological Manager Margaret Rousser. "We are very happy to have Wyatt joining our otter group. We think he will be a great mate, so that we can continue to be one of the leading zoos breeding otters in captivity.
A 4-year-old North American river otter named Wyatt swims in his exhibit at the Oakland Zoo in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Wyatt was relocated to the zoo from the Abilene Zoo in Texas in the hopes of mating with the zoo's other two otters Ginger, 7, and Rose, 2. Zookeeper Andrea Dougall says that Wyatt is very intelligent, playful, enjoys people and is adapting well to his new environment. He is slowly being introduced to the two females. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)
River otters are not considered endangered, but their habitat in the wild is shrinking. Otters are extremely susceptible to environmental pollution, so the absence of otters is an indication that the waterways are unhealthy.