Are Otters Friendly? (Or Dangerous?)

are otters friendly

Otters are amazing animals who spend most of their lives in the water. For some reason, people tend to mistake otters for beavers, which is wrong.

Most of the time, these mammals are quite fun to watch playing around. Some of their games include rock juggling, sliding, jumping, and wrestling, among other plays. What many people want to know is, are otters friendly?

Otters are friendly and social with their family members, notably when they don’t have to worry about basic needs like food supply. Yet, otters aren’t nice and friendly towards other species and may even be aggressive in some cases.

If you want to learn more about otter behavior, make sure to keep reading this article. We will talk about their affinity to people as well as to other animals.

Are otters friendly to humans?

Otters are not friendly to humans. At first, they may look sweet. But don’t let this fool you; they are wild animals. And just like any other wild carnivores, they are not very friendly. Still, it’s very hard to spot one in the wild as they tend to avoid being near people.

Otters as pets, however, can be friendly with their owners. This is only the case when they have been interacting with humans since their birth.

However, when it comes to wildlife, these animals are not friendly, and people should stay away from them.

Are otters aggressive?

It is rarely the case that otters are aggressive to humans. In most cases, otters do not attack people and will not look for any trouble. This is because they will detect your presence long before you notice them.

They will use loud vocal noises like hissing and growling to show their presence and keep you away.

To avoid any conflict and be safe, you should stay at least 50 yards away from otters. Otters show aggression mainly because of the following scenarios:

  • Territorial endangerment (when they feel physically jeopardized)
  • Parental protection (defending pups)

Most reported cases in which wild otters attack humans took place in Florida. This came about in areas where humans overlapped close to the otters’ natural habitat.

Related: Are Seals Friendly?

Are otters dangerous?

Otters are carnivore mammals that can be dangerous. They have strong tails, paws, and sharp teeth. Their sharp canines could even lead to severe injuries or be deadly in some cases.

Otters are vicious animals, and they are even noted for killing other animals just for fun. Even though they look sweet, they are seen as one of the toughest species on earth. They are apex predators in just about every setting they live in.

Notably, they are most dangerous when protecting their territory. Once they feel vulnerable, otters will often act in large groups. In a group, they do not hesitate to prey on animals twice their size.

There are plenty of videos online showing otter attacks on caiman, anaconda, or even alligators. If clashes occur in the water, their enemies have little to no chance of escaping.

This should not be a huge surprise knowing that otters come from a mustelid family. This family includes animals like skunks, badgers, weasels, and wolverines, among others.

Read Also: Are Bears Friendly?

Can otters be domesticated?

Like them or not, otters are very special beings, and humans love them despite their wild nature. Over the years, otters have become very popular pets in South East Asia.

People living in these areas are willing to pay thousands of dollars to have one of these furry animals. However, otters usually do not make good pets. You can raise one as a pet, but this is hard work since otters are not domesticated animals.

These critters can be very loud, destructive, and even aggressive at times. Notably if they don’t get what they want at that moment. This sweet-looking pet can easily turn into pure evil.

Also, you just can’t get one and keep it in your small room. No, otters need at least 50m2 of space to live a normal life. They are semi-aquatic creatures that also need a mixture of water and land in their everyday life.

But above all, they are social beings who grow up in families of ten or more members, which is opposite to their life as pets. Isolating an otter alone is not very ethical, and it is cruel towards the animal itself. And in most US states, keeping an otter as a pet is illegal unless you own a special license.

In short, you can befriend otters, but their needs differ a lot from regular pets like cats or dogs. In the end, otters are wild animals, and they are not meant to be pets.

Final thoughts

Otters are amazing creatures that look very charming. Most people see them as puppy-looking, friendly beings that exist only to cuddle around. Even though they appear friendly, otters are vicious and wild creatures that can be dangerous, and people should stay away from them.

Still, it’s very hard to see one since otters tend to avoid places where is a high human population.

Having one as a pet is possible but not something you should do unless you are 100% familiar with their nature.

If you liked this article, you might also be interested in similar otter articles. Here are some recommended articles: Can otters live on land? Do otters eat fish?