I think otters are the best animals ever. Well, I very much appreciate dogs, and I loved my cats growing up, and, really, any animal is a gorgeous and beautiful being just because it IS. But otters are so cute! Their behavior exhibits a “personality” that I sometimes identify with (as well as the kea), just as my husband identifies with bears, coyotes, and wolves. But, knowing that sea otters are “the heaviest members of the weasel family,” I really don’t want this analogy to go too far!
At The Daily Otter, you get to see a new otter pic, well, as the name implies, every day. Just look at the screen shot, and you get the idea.
But, did you know? Today, 13 species of otter live and cavort on five continents, according to the website Otternet. Otternet also notes, however, that many of these species are either threatened or endangered, and, “There used to be 14 species of otter, but the fourteenth otter, Maxwell’s otter [a subspecies of the smooth-coated otter], is presumed extinct due to draining of their waters to perform genocide in Iraq.” (Maxwell’s otter is named after Gavin Maxwell, who wrote the book [which became a movie] “Ring of Bright Water.”) Another source, Otter Joy (2011), reports, however, that some of these otters were spotted in Iran in 1975, so it is possible that the species still exists. This is corroborated by a 2009 Environment News Service report that surveys by “Nature Iraq” in Iraq’s southern Mesopotamian Marshes have found a group of these otters there.
It’s sad that so often when folks talk about animals these days, the topic of their vulnerability, endangerment, and even extinction is a core part of the conversation. Sometime in my lifetime, I’d like to see an article, a documentary, or a movie celebrating how animals are thriving as never before. I don’t know how to make that happen, but I do know (or have to believe) that the majority of humans on this planet feel the same way, and therefore it is a real possibility.