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World Otter Day – May 31, 2023

World Otter Day occurs on the last Wednesday of May, which is May 31 this year. Otters are beautiful, playful animals that live in wetlands across the world. Species are declining due to habitat destruction, reduction of prey, roadkill, and illegal trade for fur and as pets. There are 13 different species, 12 of which are disappearing. Seven of these species are classified as vulnerable and five are endangered. The International Otter Survival Fund founded World Otter Day with two goals in mind. First, to help raise awareness of the dangers that otters face. Second, to educate people on how to protect their habitats.

History of World Otter Day

World Otter Day had humble beginnings as Otterly Mad Week, a week of events, education, and fun. Then International Otter Awareness Day was founded before becoming the International Otter Survival Day, then World Otter Day we now know whose singular purpose is to ensure that future generations can enjoy these charming animals.

International Otter Survival Fund began in 1993 to protect and help the different species of otters worldwide. It was inspired by observing otters in their natural habitats. The Fund is one of the world’s leading charities with various projects that protect otters. They have dedicated over 20 years of research to conserving, protecting, and caring for otters. They have developed a worldwide program to encourage education on otters. To date, they have supported projects in 44 countries and helped cubs in 33 countries.

Since 2009, they held workshops across the world in places such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and China. The workshops provide training in otter field techniques, public awareness programs, law enforcement, and general conservation issues. Some other activities include research, campaigns, training, and otter hospitals.

World Otter Day timeline

1993
The Otter Survival Fund

The International Otter Survival Fund is established.

2009
The Otterly Mad Week

Otterly Mad Week is created in June to spread awareness about the plight of otters.

2009
The First Workshop Held in Cambodia

The first training workshop in Cambodia is held.

2014
The Otter Awareness Day

Otterly Mad Week changes to International Otter Awareness Day.

2015
The First Workshop Held in Africa

The first African otter workshop is held in Tanzania with participants from 10 sub-Saharan countries.

2016
The World Otter Day

Otter Survival Fund takes over World Otter Day.

World Otter Day FAQs

Are otters rare?

It varies from species to species. Some are common but others are very rare and difficult to find.

Are otters friendly?

Otters are very social with their family members. They are, however, not as friendly with other species and they do show aggression.

Are otters good pets?

Living in captivity is not a good life for an otter. They are not easily house-trained and are very active.

How to Observe World Otter Day

  1. Become an otter spotter

    Help spot otters and add to the scientific knowledge. You may be the first person in your area to spot an otter.

  2. Join a Team Otter Club

    The International Otter Survival Fund clubs are available in many countries. Become a member of this club to help spread the word about otter survival.

  3. Share conservation information

    Education is an important tool for conservation. By sharing social media posts from various organizations, you can help do a lot.

5 Facts About Otters

  1. Most of them live in Alaska

    About 90% of all sea otters live on the coast of Alaska.

  2. They have their own tools

    Otters use rocks to open clams and carry them around in case they are needed.

  3. They are amazing at holding their breath

    Sea otters can hold their breath for five minutes and river otters can hold theirs for eight.

  4. They have a thick fur

    Sea otters lack any blubber, so their thick, dense water-resistant fur keeps them warm.

  5. Their dung tells a story

    Scientists believe they may be able to determine the sex, age, and reproductive status of an otter just by studying its dung.

Why World Otter Day is Important

  1. Otters are cute

    We don't need too much convincing to spend the day learning about them. They are the cutest, quirky, and furry animals.

  2. Conservation is always a plus

    World Otter Day focuses on teaching people about the conservation of our planet and our wildlife. This is definitely something we should all rally behind.

  3. It’s a worthwhile global cause

    Otters are found all over the world. They are also celebrated in over 20 different countries.

World Otter Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 25Wednesday
2023May 31Wednesday
2024May 29Wednesday
2025May 28Wednesday
2026May 27Wednesday

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