Scientific name:
Pteronura brasiliensis 

Conservation Status:

Where to see them in the zoo:
Near the top of Trader’s Alley, next to the Orangutans of Ketambe habitats  

Fun Facts:

Giant otters are among the top predators in their ecosystems; as such, they are also referred to as “river wolves.” 
These are the world’s largest otters in terms of length. 
Young otters are not born knowing how to swim; they’re taught by their parents when they are a few months old. 

 Giant Otter

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Males average 5 to 6.2 feet in length and weigh between 57 and 70 pounds; females are 5 to 5.5 feet long and weigh around 48 pounds. 
East of the Andes Mountains in Venezuela, Colombia and northern Argentina 
Giant otters are very social, living in groups of up to 10 individuals; groups are composed of a monogamous pair and their offspring. 
Carnivores, feeding primarily on fish such as catfish and perch; giant otters will also eat small snakes, small caimans, mammals, crustaceans and amphibians. Zoo diet includes a variety of fish: trout, tilapia, catfish, smelt and butterfish. Zoo Atlanta is a proud partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. Zoo Atlanta uses Seafood Watch guidelines to purchase sustainable seafood when feeding our giant otters.
Giant otters breed in late spring and early summer. Females give birth to one to five cubs, with two being the most common. Gestation is typically 65 to 70 days; cubs are weaned after three or four months. Lifespan is 10 to 12 years; late teens in zoological settings.
Neighbors in the wild:
Caimans, anacondas, jaguars, piranhas 
Population status and threats:
Giant otter populations have declined dramatically as a result of habitat loss, illegal hunting for pelts, water pollution and canine diseases such as canine parvovirus.