IUCN Otter Specialist Group . . . leading global otter conservation Last Update: Tuesday January 3, 2012
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Questions and Answers: In-Depth Responses

Can you have otters as pets but only if they can never be released back to the wild ever again. is it not possible or will the otter not like it?

Grace Vaudin , 9 April 2007

Response from Lesley Wright

I tried to reply to you twice, but the message was bounced as your mailbox was over quota.

It is possible to have otters as pets, but it is a time-consuming and expensive thing to do - the same level of commitment and expense as having a child. Otters are classified as Dangerous Wild Animals, and must be kept in zoo-like conditions of security. They are also very intelligent animals and it is hard to keep them entertained.
British Otters are additionally covered by extra regulations - they are the most protected native wild animals in Britain.

Very, very, very few people are suitable pet otter owners. It is much better to adopt an otter at your local zoo or wildlife park. Since you are in Cambridgeshire, I would recommend Mole Hall, near Saffron Walden, or Shepreth Wildlife Park, near Royston (as I have been to both of these).

Response provided 8 May 2007