Outdoor Journal

Love is in the water: Oscar the Otter may be in love. The WNC Nature Center critter has “bonded well” with Olive, a female otter in residence. In short, the pair is showing “classic” mating signs, according to the center’s animal curator, Henry Bulluck.

Otters will normally mate in late winter or early spring – in the water or on dry land, he explains. They start with “scent marking and heightened aggression.” The male swims up behind the female, grasping her by the neck, then bends his body down around and under her tail. If breeding takes place on land, the male curls up and wraps around the female. Mating sessions can last 15 to 20 minutes.

So far, Oscar—one of the center’s latest additions—has become a good swimmer and now easily chases Olive through the water.

For information about the center’s winter hours, or how to volunteer for such projects as fence building and how you can make a donation, visit www.wildwnc.org or call 298-2600, ext. 308.

Send your outdoors news to outdoors@mountainx.com.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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