Friday, January 18, 2013

River Otters Returning to San Francisco!

A River Otter named Sutro Sam by local biologists searches for fish to feed on at the Sutro Baths on December 30, 2012 in San Francisco, Calif. Photo: Sean Havey, The Chronicle
Sutro Sam
A new furry friend has come to San Francisco, Sutro Sam the river otter.  San Francisco hasn't had a single river otter in 50 years!  Sutro Sam is eating the large goldfish that residents have left in the pond in Sutro Baths.

Sutro Sam is not afraid of humans surprisingly.  Also, he looks very well fed.  Sutro Sam is believed to have swum all the way from Marin to San Francisco.  Sutro Sam is a young male.  He came to San Francisco, because once an otter reaches maturity, they break off from the group.  Sutro Baths is a perfect location for Sutro Sam, because it is filled with fresh water from an underground well, and it is right next to the ocean so he can catch fish.

River Otters are only two-feet long and only weigh 17-25 pounds.  River otters are an endangered species, because they were hunted for their pelts and they were poisoned by gold mining.  River otters can live in freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water.  They are very agile on land and they can even climb trees!

A river otter, not Sutro Sam, climbing a tree.

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