Giant River Otter Habitat

Purpose Statement:

"The purpose of this project is to renovate the Amazon’s Edge Exhibit to display Giant River Otters."

Amazon’s Edge is one of the feature exhibits at the Santa Ana Zoo and the first exhibit visitors see as they enter the zoo. It sets the tone for our visitor’s experiences. The exhibit was built in 1990 and has an extensive water feature. The water filtration system is outdated and needs replacement. It currently houses four howler monkeys and several water birds. The exhibit’s expansive space is severely under utilized and at times appears empty.

Giant River Otters are large, active (they like to frolic), and a crowd favorite. They are a high impact animal at zoos with a visitor appeal similar to bears, zebras, or penguins. They are an endangered species and found in the Amazon River. The exhibit’s large water feature is the perfect size for this mostly aquatic animal.

About the Giant River Otters:

Longest otter species, growing up to five feet long!
Adaptations include: water repellant fur, webbed feet, sharp claws, wide-flat tail to use as a “rudder”, and ability to close nostrils and ears underwater.
Diurnal and very vocal. May live in family groups of up to 10 individuals. Native to the rivers of South America including Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata.
Primarily fish, but may also eat crustaceans, snakes, and other river animals. Endangered species, among rarest otter in the world. Uncommon in North American zoos and aquariums.

Giant River Otter Gallery: