Their diet consist of mainly fish
Native to the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems they dwell in swamps, flooded forests and slow moving rivers
Giant otters can be up to 100cm tall when stood up!
They have sensitive paws to feel out and catch fish, frogs and molluscs on the river bed
In the waters of the Amazon the giant otter is known as the ‘river wolf’ due to its large, razor sharp teeth and muscular body.
It is the biggest of all the otters mainly eating a diet of fish which it catches with expert skill as its wing-like tail and webbed feet allow it to move rapidly through the water. They can eat up to nine pounds of food per day!
Giant otters can also move quickly over land, often travelling several hundred metres to get one from area of water to another.
Also known as the South American otter, giant otters live in family groups of monogamous parents and their offspring.
Giant otters are threatened by human activity. Territory expansion, mining and hunting are some of the factors causing their numbers to decrease.
Logging and farming destroy giant otter breeding sites, and mining poisons the rivers where they live with mercury.
They are hunted for their water resistant fur and for their meat. Between 1950 – 1970, 20,000 otter pelts were exported from Peru alone. The trade in giant otter fur was banned in 1973, but they are still under threat.