April 11, 2021

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We know our pets

Anchorage river otters are enjoyment to view, but preserve your puppy away

A river otter, carrying a useless muskrat, evades a bald eagle on Potter Marsh on March 30, 2021. (Marc Lester / ADN)

A river otter scampered throughout the snow at Potter Marsh very last 7 days carrying a muskrat in its teeth. The otter, not crafted for amazing land pace, was identified in its endeavor to discover address down the icy banking companies of an unfrozen creek as two bald eagles took turns swooping in from above.

The scene was a fleeting and entertaining window into portion of Anchorage’s wild world, conveniently seen from a viewing deck. But according to Alaska Division of Fish and Game biologist Dave Fight, the animal behaviors weren’t always scarce.

“An otter is a predator,” Battle reported. “They consume a lot of points.”

Debbie Boege-Tobin, a College of Alaska Anchorage/Kenai Peninsula Higher education professor of organic sciences who analyzed river otters for her doctoral work, explained it’s probably the eagle was hoping to snatch the otter’s prey relatively than the otter by itself.

“An adult river otter can get up to 20-25 kilos, and which is type of on the edge of staying much too major for an eagle,” she claimed.

A river otter looks all over immediately after popping up from a hole in the ice at Westchester Lagoon on Sunday, March 28, 2021. (Monthly bill Roth / ADN)

Fight said river otters have been on his radar much more in previous few a long time than they experienced prior thanks to “conflict behavior” in Anchorage. He stated there has been at minimum two occasions in modern many years in which otters attacked a canine. When, Fight encountered otters at College Lake even though walking his have canines.

“They definitely confirmed some curiosity,” he said. “They started swimming in excess of toward us.”

A river otter surfaces with a mouth comprehensive of fish at Westchester Lagoon on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (Bill Roth / ADN)

Struggle claimed it is complicated to know irrespective of whether the otters are responding to a perceived risk or performing predatorily. He inspired doggy homeowners to be mindful at Taku Lake and College Lake in specific.

In one more occasion, Struggle said he took studies of people today feeding and getting really near to an otter in a South Anchorage community. Boege-Tobin reported river otters can be charismatic creatures to observe, specifically when they run and slide on their bellies.

A river otter rolls in the snow at Westchester Lagoon on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (Bill Roth / ADN)

But make no miscalculation, she claimed. They are “voracious predators with incredibly sharp enamel.”

“I would not assume of them as cuddly,” she mentioned.

On Tuesday, a patient eagle sat atop the financial institution of the creek at Potter Marsh, but the otter didn’t reappear. Sooner or later, the eagle departed with vacant talons.

A bald eagle flies about Potter Marsh just after next a river otter who experienced preyed on a muskrat on March 30, 2021. (Marc Lester / ADN)