OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens hosted a “World Otter Day” event on Wednesday.

The event was aimed at raising awareness to the declining population of the river otter. The festivities kicked off at 11 a.m., and featured “otter enrichment” activities in the park’s Big Rivers Building.

There were also frozen treats served to guests and very special frozen treats served to the animals of the hour.

“We want to focus on this species, and tell everybody different things that they can do, even right here in Oklahoma, to help these animals and help the habitat,” said Kimberly Leser, Curator of Behavior, Husbandry, Training and Enrichment at the OKC Zoo.  

According to the zoo, 12 out of the 13 species of otter are facing declining populations due to illegal fur hunting, destruction of habitat and lack of available prey, and run-ins with motorists. Eight of those species make a home in Oklahoma.

“[Things like] cleaning up the water ways, making sure we give these animals space when we see them out in the wild, all helps protect the habitat and protect the species.”