Otters are adorable animals, and it’s natural to wonder if they can be tamed. But can beavers make great pets?
The short answer is no, they don’t. Apart from the fact that keeping Otters as pets is illegal in most states, they are not easy to train or care for and will most likely chew up any wooden object they can find in your home.
While there are occasional cases of people keeping orphaned otters as pets, these wild animals are certainly not ideal for keeping at home. Read on to find out why.
Why don’t you keep an Otter as a pet?
In all but a few states in the US, it is illegal to keep wild animals such as otters as pets, but this is only one reason why keeping them at home is not a good idea. If getting into trouble with the law isn’t enough, here are some other reasons.
Since Otters are wild animals, training them is nearly impossible, even if you have them from infancy. These animals have lived happily for thousands of years in the wild without human intervention, and unlike dogs, they are incapable of learning commands or walking around on leashes. They also cannot be trained at home and will just poop wherever they feel the need to be: in your pool, on the couch, or even in your bed.
Beavers live most of their lives in water, and they cannot survive without it. This means you will need a very large pond or tank to contain it, which will quickly get very dirty. They will defecate, eat, and live in water, and you’ll need to change large pools of water every day to keep them clean.
In the wild, otters are very territorial animals. For the most part, they are docile and gentle animals that are rarely aggressive, but when it comes to their territory, they will claw and bite to protect it. If you have a dog or cat, Beavers can seriously injure them to protect their territory. While there are not many cases of otters attacking humans, they will inevitably bite or scratch when threatened, and there is one known death from a beaver attack.
As most people know, beavers love to chew and gnaw wood because it helps shorten their growing teeth. They’ll also eat wood if there aren’t enough vegetables around, and this means any wooden object in and around your home is potential food, including your front door! Their teeth are made for chewing, and they will penetrate your furniture before you even know it.
They are active at night
Otters are mostly nocturnal, and although they are occasionally diurnal, they mostly sleep during the day. This makes caring for them more difficult and keeping them away from the wood in your home more difficult. Also, they sleep about 11 hours a day – mostly during the day – so you won’t be able to spend much quality time with your pet, unless you want to radically change your sleep schedule.
In the wild, otters live together in small colonies and are very social animals that maintain monogamy and care for their young. Keeping Otters alone and away from their community is not only unnatural to them, it will cause them a lot of stress and unhappiness, and they tend to react aggressively.
The beaver is a key species
Apart from being illegal and being less than ideal pets, otters are very important in the wild and have an important role in their local ecosystem. These animals are what are known as “key species”, meaning that their presence affects all species of animals and plants. Without them, these animals and plants would either struggle or be completely wiped out.
Beavers create habitat for aquatic and wetland species, including frogs, turtles, ducks, otters, and water birds such as the stork. Dams that beavers build to store food and provide protection from predators are also important for the environment. The dam acts like a large water purification system and filters out silt and sediment, which also helps enrich the surrounding soil.
Beavers were once almost completely exterminated from the United States, and fortunately the consequences are clear. As a result, hunting, trapping, and keeping Otters as pets is, for the most part, illegal, and their numbers continue to grow.
Keeping otters as pets is illegal in all but a handful of states, but even if it’s legal in your area, otters still don’t make great pets. They are difficult to care for and maintain, nearly impossible to train, and potentially aggressive, and they will make a lot of mess in your home.
The best place for Otters is in the wild, doing their job as a key species and living their lives in peace and happiness.
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Featured Image Credit: Piqsels