The North American river otter habitat, home to otters Piper and Hudson, has been getting some upgrades over the last few months. Now the project is nearing completion* and we’re otterly excited! All three viewing windows have been replaced and the new paths have taken shape. Check out the brand new viewing spaces in our images below.

Renovation highlights include:

  • Replacement of all three otter viewing windows
  • An expanded “beach” area and enhanced viewing area nearest to the Marsh Aviary
  • Resurfaced walkways
  • Otter training area

*Please Note: Access to the Maryland Wilderness is currently closed. Guests may still enjoy the Marsh Aviary and the Farmyard by entering from Zoo Central. Otters Piper and Hudson are still receiving expert care, enrichment, and training in their behind-the-scenes areas.

otter habitat with new glass window installed.

otter habitat with new glass installed.

This is a view of the otter habitat near the Marsh Aviary in the Maryland Wilderness portion of the Zoo. The existing glass has been replaced and the original path repaved. The glass pane is wider and taller than it once was, and the otter’s beach area is now waist height. This will allow for an expanded viewing area and a closer vantage point to the otters. A keeper platform and stairs have also be added alongside the left portion of the habitat viewing area so keepers can chat with guests and give the otters snacks and enrichment!

Otter viewing area.


drained otter habitat with new tunnel installed.

This is a view of the habitat from above looking down on the underwater viewing tunnel. The tunnel has been replaced with new acrylic (the protective liner has not been removed yet) so guests can once again enjoy watching the otters swimming underwater!

otter habitat with new glass window installed.

This is a view of the habitat from the bobcat side of the exhibit. If you can remember (see below), there used to be two separate viewing windows with rock in between. Now there is one large acrylic window on this side of the habitat (the protective liner has not been removed). As seen on the left-hand side of the image (black metal structure), there will be a mesh training area installed where the keepers will be able to interact with the otters for guests to watch up close!

Child sitting in front of otter habitat, otter swimming underwater.


Stay tuned for more updates as the work comes to completion soon.