Otter Creek is home to three North American River Otters: Merlin, Arthur, and Fisher. 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. They can be seen from multiple perspectives, whether performing their graceful underwater maneuvers or just napping in the sun after a long swim.
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, Arthur, and Fisher 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.
Merlin was born in 2004 (estimated) and arrived from the Louisiana Zoo in 2006. He enjoys swimming and relaxing and can be identified by his darker chin and throat coloring, his larger size, and his “milk mustache” coloring on his mouth.
As the Aquarium's senior otter, Merlin is on a rotation schedule with the pups in Otter Creek. While the young otters go out to play, Merlin gets to rest and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Arthur was found orphaned, weak, and dehydrated on the side of a road in Austin, TX. After several weeks of round-the-clock care by the Aquarium’s marine mammal and veterinary teams, this little guy regained enough strength to begin eating on his own and quickly became much more active and alert! Because of his very young age, Arthur has been deemed non-releasable and became part of our family here at TSA.
Arthur has learned a variety of different behaviors with a focus on husbandry or medical behaviors. Arthur spends his time on exhibit at Otter Creek during the day, hanging out with his buddy Fisher and playing with shells and rocks.
When the Wildlife Rescue team rescued Arthur in April 2020, they discussed how vital companionship would be to Arthur’s development. Although Otter Creek's longtime resident, Merlin, is still around, his age did not make him the best candidate to keep up with an energetic, young otter pup. Thus, the Aquarium started reaching out to other animal rescue programs in the state to see if it could find a young rescue otter that was unable to be released into the wild. After weeks of searching, the Aquarium finally found Fisher!
A fisherman and his dog discovered Fisher in the woods in Tyler, Texas. Fisher had significant puncture wounds. The fisherman took the pup to a wildlife rescue rehab facility that, along with a local veterinary team, cared for Fisher for several months until his wounds healed. On June 10, 2020, the Aquarium's Wildlife Rescue and Marine Mammal teams picked up Fisher and brought him to Corpus Christi. Fisher was approximately ten weeks old at the time. Fisher is currently spending his time on exhibit at Otter Creek during the day, hanging out with his buddy Arthur and playing with shells and rocks.