West Seattle wildlife: This otter’s on a roll

Thanks to Russ Walker for video and photos of a river otter that’s spending a lot of time out of the water at Alki – bet you haven’t seen one take a “sand bath.” (Well, WE haven’t.) Russ notes that the otter’s been crossing Alki Avenue SW, “right around the blue bottle house” – no pic of that, but here’s a pose on the beach:

And yes, what you see in West Seattle are river otters, NOT sea otters like the ones at the Seattle Aquarium. Find out all sorts of fascinating river-otter facts here.

24 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife: This otter's on a roll"

  • Franchesca May 14, 2012 (7:40 am)

    I saw this guy cross Alki last weekend. It was quite a sight watching him stop traffic! Thanks for one of the cutest videos I’ve ever seen!

  • Alki Resident May 14, 2012 (8:11 am)

    My kids saw him cross the street from the restaurants not too long ago,not an everyday sight but cute. Maybe we should have a otter crossing sign in the area since people normally wouldn’t expect seeing them do this.

  • The Velvet Bulldog May 14, 2012 (8:31 am)

    Gah! Uber-cuteness brain implosion!

  • owen May 14, 2012 (8:47 am)

    The Seattle Aquarium has river otters too!

    • WSB May 14, 2012 (9:25 am)

      Thanks, O, I know, but everyone thinks of the furry otters that get TV spotlights and the river otters, meantime, are kinda off to the side. My son, when young, in fact, was quite outraged that the sea otters tended to steal the limelight. Fairness for all!

  • evergreen May 14, 2012 (9:15 am)

    Most adorable thing ever.

  • Chandira May 14, 2012 (10:06 am)

    OMG, cute..
    I used to see the occasional otter in Lake Union by the houseboats at E Lynn Park, when I lived there, I miss them! So nice to see otters at Alki, I will look out for them next time I come over the water for dinner. :)

  • Russ May 14, 2012 (10:35 am)

    I’m worried about this guy. He’s not very afraid of people, and he’s regularly crossing Alki Ave, which people drive too fast on, esp. during the week when there’s not as much beach traffic.

  • Kristian May 14, 2012 (10:45 am)

    Awesome animals! I saw one cross Fauntleroy between Lincoln Park and the ferry last week, heading down towards the beach.

  • miws May 14, 2012 (10:55 am)

    Otterly entertaining!



  • Babs May 14, 2012 (10:57 am)

    I too have seen him/her cross there and they don’t look both ways. Nor is there an otter crosswalk. But being serious, it will hurt to ever read here it was hurt or killed by a car. Summer brings the crazy on Alki sadly. I’m wondering if this otter should be reported so the otter can be captured and released somewhere else. I’m sad to even write this but that street is traffic heavy. I wish nature could co-exist safely and i have my fingers crossed. It’s a total experiance to see him/her just living it up on the beach.

  • Chris May 14, 2012 (11:07 am)

    So THAT’S what that was I saw running across Spokane b/t 62nd and 61st last week. I only caught a fleeting glimpse but knew it was something I hadn’t seen on the street before. I thought maybe it was an otter – after reading this, I’m 100% positive!

  • MikeRussellFoto May 14, 2012 (11:16 am)

    Hah, love that video (and the photo)! It’s only a matter of time before someone adds a nice dance beat to it and it goes viral. :)

  • April May 14, 2012 (12:57 pm)

    If you see this little guy, please call seal sitters so they can send some people out to help keep him safe. Seal Sitters Hotline 206-905-SEAL . They protect all marine mammals on the beach, not just seals.

  • CE May 14, 2012 (3:28 pm)

    That looks like it feels really good. I almost want to try.

  • John May 14, 2012 (5:25 pm)

    Why did the otter cross the road?

    To get to the otter side.

    (Sorry. I tried to resist, but I just couldn’t.)

  • Franchesca May 14, 2012 (5:52 pm)

    I’m worried about him! I’ll definitely call seal sitters if i see him again.

  • Megan Isadore May 14, 2012 (7:29 pm)

    We’ve recently seen a new wildlife crossing sign go up near where I live in the SF Bay Area, in response to otters being hit by cars. Check it out! Perhaps a watershed or animal group in Seattle could get one installed to help this little guy too.

  • soosan May 14, 2012 (7:39 pm)

    I agree, we otter make sure he stays safe.

  • JN May 14, 2012 (8:50 pm)

    If he (or other otters) cross there regularly, there should be some sort of sign/traffic calming measure there so no one hits and kills the guy. People drive way too fast down there for the number of pedestrians/cyclists and, apparently, otters!

  • MMB May 14, 2012 (9:42 pm)

    So cute – he otter be in pictures! But seriously, if I see otters crossing streets I will now know to call Seal Sitters. Thank you WSB!

  • Russ May 15, 2012 (10:39 pm)

    The otter was back tonight, having a grand time fishing right off the beach. But then a jerk came by on a jet ski and deliberately tried to run the otter down. Haven’t seen him since. Hoping he is ok.

    Are there any rules on how close jet skirts can come to the beach?

  • Eilene Hutchinson May 16, 2012 (9:14 am)

    Absolutely adorable!!!

    Love that video.

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