Giant River Otter

The largest member of the weasel family, the Giant River Otter grows over six feet long and can weigh over 80 pounds. It lives exclusively in the river systems of the Amazon, Orinoco and La Plata. These sleek, streamlined, aquatic mammals have short legs, semi-retractable claws, and nostrils and ears that close in the water. They flex their long bodies and propel themselves through the water with their webbed feet and powerful tails. The Giant River Otter has a very fast metabolism and is active all year long; its dense, waterproof fur keeps it warm.

The nocturnal Giant River Otters are very intelligent, charismatic, social animals that live in family groups typically centered around a dominant pair. They burrow into logs and river banks to create underground dens to rest in during the day, and will defend these territories aggressively. The carnivorous Giant River Otter primarily eats fish, supplementing with crustaceans, snakes, amphibians, insects, birds and small mammals.


  • Agility: 6/10

  • Charisma: 6/10

  • Intelligence: 6/10

  • Speed: 5/10

  • Stamina: 6/10

  • Strength: 6/10

  • Wisdom: 7/10

  • TOTAL: 42/70
Strengths
The Giant River Otter’s strengths include its size, intelligence, superb swimming skills and keen sense of smell.

Weaknesses
The Giant River Otter’s fast metabolism requires them to eat a whopping six to nine pounds of food per day.

Best Animals to Adapt With
The Giant River Otter is good at just about everything. Because of this, it’s best that she adapt with other well-rounded species, like the Capybara or the Electric Eel.

Enemies
Bald eagles, bears and coyotes prey on the Giant River Otter.

Increasing Their Survival Rate
The IUCN classifies Giant River Otters as endangered. Giant River Otters are hunted and poached extensively and therefore among the rarest otters in the world; it’s believed that only a few thousand remain in the wild. Other threats include habitat destruction and degradation. To learn more, visit the Giant Otter Project of The Frankfurt Zoological Society.

Image credit: David Monniaux

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Folklore
The Giant River Otter appears in much Amazon folklore. The Achuar people saw them as Tsunki, water spirits who fed on fish. The Bororo associated them with fish and fire, believing that those who swallowed tobacco leaves were punished with transformation into Giant River Otters. In Ticuna mythology, the Giant River Otter exchanged places with the jaguar.