Wild otters spotted on the Grand River

Otters on the Grand River in Kent County. (November 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Photographer Bruce Ling of Kent County says he sees otters on the Grand River several times each year.

Otters are native to Michigan, and are typically encountered in the wild in northern Lower Peninsula or in the Upper Peninsula. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says they are rarely seen as far south as Grand Rapids, but that it’s not impossible for them to live in the area.

The DNR says Ling’s may be the first report it has ever gotten of an otter on the Grand River.

Otters are often hard to spot in the wild. Not only are they nocturnal, but they also tend to constantly wander down river. Adam Bump from the DNR says they are very mobile.

Otters tend to seek out areas with clean water and abundant fish. Ling’s sightings could be taken as an indication of environmental conditions on the Grand River.

Below, watch longer video of the otters, courtesy Ling and the Grand Rapids Water Festival.


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