Special activities at Roosevelt Park Zoo

Minot zoo observes World Otter Day today

Eloise Ogden/MDN Minot’s Roosevelt Park Zoo is observing World Otter Day today with special activities planned.

Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot is observing World Otter Day today with special activities planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The special activities are free.

Becky Dewitz, zoo director, said World Otter Day is a day set aside for conservation awareness of the otter species.

The Minot zoo has two otters, a male and a female. North American river otters, they can swim at speeds of 7 mph. On land their top speed is 18 mph, according to zoo information. They have the densest fur of any mammal and it helps waterproof them and keep them warm.

World Otter Day was started by the International Otter Survival Fund to draw attention to the 13 species of otters around the world. Otters are special animals – not only are they wonderful to watch but they are great indicators to a healthy environment, which is important for all species including humans, according to the International Otter Survival Fund. Twelve of the 13 species worldwide are declining because of hunting for the illegal fur trade, habitat destruction, reduction in available prey and road deaths.

– Eloise Ogden