ALASKA, USA – An otter was seen dancing and rolling happily in the snow beside a river at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska.
“A playful river otter slides, roll around on, and bounds through the snow near the shore of Bartlett Cove’s inner lagoon,” notes the video. “A harbor seal pops up and peers from the water’s surface, perhaps envious of the otter’s work life. Aren’t we all!”
This otter was having a field day as he enjoyed the beautiful weather with a picturesque river flowing on the side.
Another curious creature, a harbor seal, appeared peeking out from the river, perhaps envious of the otter’s impressive ability to play in the snow protected of course by a well-groomed fur coat.
“Fishing, swimming, playing in the snow… life is tough for river otters, and this one obviously has a case of the Mondays,” wrote the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in a Facebook post along with the video of the otter. “Park rangers weren’t the only ones entranced by this water weasel’s morning routine, though. Watch the water to see what other curious creature appears!”
There are 13 otter species and their diets mainly comprise fish and invertebrates which they consume at every opportunity.
“Despite eating more than other carnivores in relation to their body weight, otters exist close to their energetic limits,” as per Science Direct, a website with a collection of scientific journals and papers.
It adds: “They are thus vulnerable to competition from fisheries and to pollution and habitat perturbations that affect their prey. The preferred habitat of most otters is a secluded and well-vegetated stream or river banks, particularly those shaded by riparian trees. Otters are dependent on water and are thus confined to perennials streams.”
The otters (Family Lutrinae) show more adaptations to aquatic life. The fur is thick and waterproof, with two types of hair. There is a dense underfur, which traps an insulating layer of air and remains dry while the otter is swimming. The longer, overlying guard hairs are waterproof. Otters were hunted for their thick soft fur for centuries which led to a steep decline in their population.
“Russian hunters pursued Alaskan sea otters for their luxuriant pelts — the densest in the animal kingdom — beginning in the 1740s and were eventually joined by British and Americans, who traded furs, known as ‘soft gold’, with China,” as per a research article by National Park Conservation Organization. “By the end of the 19th century, traders had extirpated otters from nearly their entire Pacific Rim range — including southeast Alaska.”
(Edited by Ojaswin Kathuria and Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar.)
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