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Critters of the Week

Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by SPCA.




Picture was taking during one of the cold snaps this winter and you can see the otter is wearing an ice beret from where he/she broke through the ice.

Where Spotted: Tuckahoe Creek Park
Common Name: River Otter
Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis
Weight: 10-25 lbs
Length: 26-42″ a third of which is tail

Quick Facts

  • The River Otter is a semi-aquatic carnivorous mammal in the Mustelidae or “weasel family” which includes weasels, minks, ferrets, wolverines and badgers.
  • They live along inland and coastal waterways of North America, predominantly in the Atlantic States, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Northwest. In Virginia, river otters inhabit a variety of habitats along rivers, lakes, streams, marshes and coastal shorelines.
  • Otters are mostly active at night, or at dawn or dusk, but can be out and about during the day as well, especially in colder months.
  • Their short, thick, water-repellant fur varies in color from light brown to almost black, usually with silvery brown fur at the throat.
  • Supremely adapted for an aquatic lifestyle, river otters have a powerful, rudder-like tail and webbed feet.
  • Able to close off their nostrils and short ears while swimming, and having additional eye covers called “nictitating membranes” that act like “swim goggles” to protect their eyes, otters can swim underwater for up to 4 minutes, swim at speeds up to 6-7 mph, and dive as deep as 55 feet.
  • On land, otters can run, walk, bound and slide on icy or muddy slopes.

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Ulsan at Richmond SPCA

Ulsan is a very handsome young man who traveled a long way to find a family after being rescued from South Korea. He didn’t grow up knowing the comfort of a loving home so he needs to find someone very kind and patient to help him adjust to this big world. Ulsan will need time to warm up to new people and is looking for an adult only home with no other pets. Once he trusts you, he is utterly devoted and looks to you for guidance. Please come in for a visit and learn more about Ulsan today!
Age: 5 years, 7 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Tan / White
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 34124132

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.