Aty as a pet river otter. In the video you see him swimming at six a.m. in a very cold, crystal-clear mountain river having great fun. His human companion who has a blog and all the usual social media sites to feature his otter companion has a tent set up on the bank of the river where Aty retires to after his exhausting swim. As he sleeps he grabs hold of his human companion’s arm for comfort and he sleeps soundly. Otters are incredibly cute and it looks like they make good pets but they can’t be that good otherwise there would be many more of them.
Otters as pets
They are wild animals and in general wild animals do not make good pets. In America it is illegal to own a native North American otter as a pet. I don’t know much about Aty but he appears to live in Asia, perhaps Japan or Indonesia. Aty’s human companion is secretive about his whereabouts on social media. Another reason why it’s not a good idea to keep an otter as a pet is it is difficult to keep them safe and secure. It’s difficult to provide them with enough environmental enrichment and space. This man, though, takes his otter out into the mountains and therefore makes up for the restrictions of urban living.
There is clearly a very close bond so it is possible for an otter to be a loving animal companion. I’m sure, though, that it is unsuitable for 99% of people who think they might like to live with an otter. So you can keep an otter as a pet but it is not easy and not recommended.
As well as the difficulties of providing an adequate environment you have to provide a specialist diet and you will need a specialist veterinarian. As mentioned it is illegal to keep the North American river otter as a pet and the sea otter grows to 6 feet in length and it is also illegal to keep this animal as a pet under the Marine Animal Protection Act in the US.
Asian small-clawed otters are not covered by the same legislation in America and they are, therefore, legal in some American states. They may be legal to own in: Missouri, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee. I am sure that you’d need a license to own an otter in the UK. It may hard to obtain one because of the demands on specialist care.
Otters look very cute but they have a nasty bite. Most people who know otters would say that they do not make a good pet. The teeth are sharp and they can become aggressive when annoyed. They have unpredictable temperaments and are wild. They can therefore be dangerous and there must always be supervised near children. They are restless and don’t like to be restrained or restricted. Petting and handling is not advised. They don’t like to play with humans although the video indicates something different.
The conclusion is that this man and his otter are a very rare couple. It is probably ill-advised to copy them.