Otter Creek

Two North American River Otters, Merlin and Arrie, live here. This aquatic exhibit mimics a Texas river bed, the natural habitat of these highly intelligent mammals.

With realistic plants and scenery, several swimming areas, and even a slide, these otters have every opportunity to get wet and wild. These marine mammals can be seen from multiple perspectives, whether performing their graceful underwater maneuvers or just napping in the sun after a long swim.

During our daily presentations, we show how our trainers interact with our otters and provide them with enrichment to keep them physically and psychologically healthy. Devices like puzzles, palm fronds, coconuts, and Frisbees encourage the otters’ natural behaviors and give Merlin and Arrie a chance to explore their environment, solve problems, and make decisions. This enrichment is vital to engage these smart and active otters both mentally and physically.

  • Our Otters


    Otter Creek’s female otter was born in 2014 at the North Carolina Zoo. She enjoys enrichments with palm fronds and coconut shells. She can be identified by her smaller size, her large eyes, and the white spot on her nose.


    Merlin, Otter Creek’s male otter, was born in 2004 (estimated). He arrived in 2006 from the Louisiana Zoo. He enjoyd swimming and relaxing, and is can be identified by his darker chin and throat coloring, his larger size, and his “milk mustache” coloring on his mouth.

Animals in this Exhibit

  • North American River Otter

    These highly-intelligent mammals live around rivers, canals, lakes, marshes, and bays, where they build their lives around water.