Otters must be one of the cutest animals on the planet. Not only are they friendly and lively, but they also hold hands during sleep, in order that they don’t wake up without each other. As well as being totally adorable, they’re smart, fun and sociable and excellent problem solvers. Of course, these animals are most at home in the water, but that doesn’t mean they never come onto land to see what’s going on.
A couple became totally enamored by one of these playful creatures in February 2013, and it’s not difficult to see why from video footage of the encounter. In it, they spot their new furry friend in a river they’re walking beside, cooing at him to come out. As the otter gracefully glides through the water, he hardly acknowledges the couple and looks like he’s headed elsewhere. But he has a surprise in store.
After momentarily disappearing under some reeds, he appears on the bank! The couple are immediately taken by the creature, his fur slicked back and shiny from the water, cooing at him, saying “Hellooo!” It’s then the otter’s turn to greet them – and he certainly wasn’t shy.
With the bank next to a main road, the otter keeps back while cars are driving past behind the couple. Almost like a parent crossing the road, the creature waits patiently until the vehicles have passed. Once they’re gone, he heads straight to the cameraman (one half of the couple) and starts investigating his new acquaintances.
The otter goes straight for the cameraman’s feet, nuzzling the ground in front of them and then looking up at him. He’s dripping with water, which is hardly surprising seeing as he’s just emerged from the stream. Then the animal sprints off before deciding what to do next.
After having a calming shake down and a roll in the grass, the otter decides it’s time to investigate the other person present. He proceeds to conduct a full inspection of the woman, sniffing her feet and calves while she stands still. She clearly enjoy the interest he shows and calls her furry inspector “my kitty.”
Next, the otter shows off a bit of his personality. Staying true to his innately playful nature, he starts sprinting the width of the bank, back and forth. It’s enough to make you dizzy – and to send the lady into hysterics. The otter seems to be loving the attention and looks up to catch the lady’s reaction after each lap.
Tired from the exertions of entertaining the couple, the furry creature stops near the woman’s feet. She takes full advantage of the opportunity and bends down to stroke him but receives a nasty surprise. After she tells him “You’re so adorable,” the little creature nips her! That’s no way to take a compliment!
As this lady finds out, there are significant risks when it comes to touching wild animals. Thankfully, though, otters aren’t so dissimilar to ferrets, who nip when they want to play or as a sign of affection. So he won’t have bitten her because he felt threatened; he was just having fun.
And the couple don’t get mad at their new friend. Quite the opposite, in fact, as they start giggling, asking, “Are you gonna roll?” The otter is still up for some more fun and runs back to the lady, staring up at her, its body frozen with expectation. What is this cheeky creature going to do next?
Now he’s warmed up from darting about on the bank, he begins running around the lady’s feet. Bounding would actually be a more suitable word, as he almost loses control of his footing from sheer excitement and nearly goes tumbling down the bank. The couple are so bamboozled by his behavior that the cameraman asks, “Is he a dog?”
Well, he’s certainly a very funny looking dog, and he has no intention of stopping his adorable display. Owing to her previous experience, this time the lady moves her legs to avoid any nipping from the cheeky animal. “It’s making me a little nervous,” she admits. “If he gets too close, just clap at him,” the cameraman advises.
The woman then redirects the otter towards the cameraman who immediately starts backing away, unsurprisingly. But the couple still clearly have a lot of affection for the animal, regardless of the nipping. Indeed, moments after being bitten, the lady says, “Oh my goodness you are a riot!” and “You are a funny thing!” Turns out it was apparently impossible to dislike this bundle of joy.
The otter keeps leaping towards the lady, frolicking around her feet like they’re playing tag. Clearly neglecting the cameraman and focusing all his energies towards the lady, it’s clear who his favorite is. “He likes you! He’s jumping at you,” the cameraman laughs. Hopefully he didn’t feel left out!
Moreover, the cameraman isn’t far off in comparing the otter to a dog. In addition to the animal rolling about in the grass and bounding around the woman’s feet, he even follows one of her commands. At one point, she walks away, saying, “Come over here. Come!” and the otter duly obeys, running across the bank towards her.
At long last, the otter devotes some proper attention to the cameraman – or rather, his camera. As the man leans down to get a close shot, he says, “Hi there! Look at you!” But the otter has seen something more interesting. The cheeky thing puts his nose right up against the camera! “He’s just being nosy,” the lady giggles.
The couple are entranced by the funny creature, and it seems that he’s caught the attention of other passers-by. A newcomer asks, “What’s going on?” to which the lady gushes, “Oh my gosh, he’s the cutest thing in the world! He’s playing. He was running circles around me a little bit ago!”
The entertaining video was subsequently posted on YouTube and has since been viewed more than a million times. Plenty of viewers have volunteered theories about the otter’s strange behavior. One commented, “He’s doing the Weasel War Dance! This is an invitation to play that ferrets, polecats, weasels and stoats all use, sometimes as a hunting trick but usually to play or to just to show they are happy.”
The couple certainly accepted his invitation to play! For many viewers, the video simply reminded them why they love otters in the first place. One wrote, “Its official. Otters are my favorite ever!” while another had big plans involving the animals, claiming, “My goal is to make a sea chariot of otters and rule the high seas with cuteness.” Well, we’ve all got to dream.
Unfortunately, these endearing creatures are deemed to be endangered. Factors such as the fishing industry, water quality and hunting have all contributed towards their low numbers. So, perhaps it’s time that everyone made an otter their best friend.