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What’s on the menu for giant otters?

Hello! My name is Sam, and I am the newest addition to the Carnivore Team as a Seasonal Keeper. A little bit about me, I am originally from Orlando, Florida. I just graduated in May from the University of South Florida. Throughout my college career, I was able to do internships at other zoos and work with a wide variety of animals. I am extremely excited to join Zoo Atlanta’s team! One of my favorite animals we take care of are the giant otters.

At Zoo Atlanta, we have two amazing giant otters, Toca and Bakairi. One of the most important daily tasks of an animal care professional is to prepare diets for the animals. Toca and Bakairi get different types of fish such as trout, smelt, tilapia and catfish. Bakairi eats about four and a half pounds of fish each day, and Toca eats just over four pounds. We split up their diets over multiple feedings throughout the day.

Bakairi and Toca are provided with their diets every single day; however, their counterparts in the wild do not have it so easy. Giant otters and other marine mammals are having a hard time finding food. Ninety percent of the world’s fisheries are being overfished. This means that so many fish are being removed that the species are not able to reproduce enough to keep the population at stable levels. Many of us enjoy a nice seafood meal just like Toca and Bakairi. The next time you are thinking about buying or eating seafood, download the Seafood Watch App. It is available in the Android and Apple stores. It is a guide on places that serve and sell sustainable seafood, because they catch their seafood using sustainable practices that do not catch bycatch. It also tells you which seafoods to stay away from. Toca and Bakairi are amazing ambassadors for their species, but their counterparts need our help. Downloading the Seafood Watch App and eating sustainable seafood is just one way we can help giant otters!
Sam D.
Seasonal Keeper, Carnivores

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