Otter – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

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Otters are adorable semi aquatic mammals, present in fresh water and marine habitat. They are relatives to weasels, badgers, skunks and other members of Mustelidae family. In species taxonomy, otters are classified under the name of Lutrinae.

There are thirteen species of otters, divided into seven genuses, which makes this amazing animal widespread all across the planet.

Otters are charming and pleasing creatures to be seen. They have precious waterproof coat, under which they are covered by fluffy, very gentle hair that keep them dry and warm during their exploits in freezing cold waters.

Otters are excellent swimmers; all members of their family have long, agile bodies with short extremities.

Mother Nature has seen important to make their toes webbed, so they can skillfully move through water. Most of otters also have sharp claws. Otters inhabit cold parts of the world.

Most of them spend long time in cold waters, but not only their specific fur that keeps them warm and resistant to challenging conditions.

Otters have very fast metabolism, which makes them able to produce more valuable and needed energy than some other animals.

That also helps them keep their bodies warm, strong and quite hardy.

For example, sea otters have to eat food in amount of about twenty percent of their weight a day; otherwise, they could not survive.

All otters mainly eat fish, but they also catch frogs and eat shrimps and shells.

Some species also hunt small mammals and even birds. Otters are overall interesting and loved animals.

Otter cultural significance

Perhaps the most widely known is Lontra canadensis, also considered the most playful, charming and curious specie. It inhabits rivers of North America and people have not always been in favor with this animal, because otters shape up riverbanks according to their needs, which damage agricultural ground.

This particular specie was a common hunters’ prey because of its precious, valuable fur.

River otters are today officially protected species and in some part s of the land, there are organized shelters to help harmed and sick ones to recover and safely to return into wilderness.

Sea otters have been faced almost total extinction, also because of their beautiful coat. Their fur is so thick and warm, so people would hunt those animals because of their skins.

However, until 1911, so small number of these beautiful creatures remained, so marine otter fur trade became pointless.

These amazing sea mammals feed on various types of mollusks and it is interesting to observe them using stones as special tools for opening hard shells of such animals and reach juicy meat inside.

There are other well-known otter species, such as European otter and giant otter.

Most of the legends and stories about otters originate from North American natives folklore.

Native Americans have always loved these skilful and beautiful animals and seen them as powerful totems and guiding spirits. There are various folktales portraying otters as good characters, kind, protective and caring. Otters are commonly associated with self-sacrifice, mercy and protection.

One particularly interesting Native American legend tells about how otters became so resistant to harsh cold climates of the north and its freezing waters. According to the story, mother crane asked the Otter to take care about her little one over winter, until she returns from the south.

The Otter was likely to help her and he gave the word he would keep the little one safe.

One day, evil spirit Osni came and killed the caring Otter. He took the little Crane to serve him. Osni, in native language, means ‘cold’; it is an evil spirit from local folklore. When mother Crane has returned from the south, she found her little one and saved him.

The young crane said to her how Otter kept him safe and how Osni came and killed the loyal, honorable friend.

Mother Crane then granted another otter the ability to survive in the coldest of environments, so that evil, deadly cold Osni could never do him any harm. Since that day, all otters are quite hardy fellows, capable of swimming in freezing rivers of the North.

That way, Crane paid tribute to her lost friend, the Otter. Truly an inspiring story, you have to agree.

 Otter symbolism

Otters are seen powerful spirit animals and are associated mostly with positive ideas and concepts. Otters symbolize intelligence, cleverness, loyalty, honor, sociability, protection, guidance, care and compassion.

These animals are seen kind and devoted spirits. In addition, they are never seen weak or timid, even if they are certainly not the strongest of animals. However, they are incredibly skilful and tactful.

Otters symbolize good organization, creativity and resourcefulness. They are not particularly physically strong, so they have other was to protect themselves and their dear ones. In additions, otters are sociable and they take good care about their children and other otters.

These lovely animals thus also represent devotion, love and protection.

These playful animals symbolize joy and happiness, for they are always active and love to play amongst themselves. However, they are unstoppable, hardworking and are never seen lazy or lame.

Otters are quite active and endurable. They are trueborn survivors. They also represent learning, knowledge, teaching and guidance.

Otters are amazing tutors to their little ones. They will make sure young otters learn all valuable and needed lessons so they can take care about themselves and the others that will come after.

These amazing swimmers also represent dedication, progress, patience and success.

Otters embody the idea of success achieved through true dedication, determination and hard work, but not the one lacking any pleasure or joy.

Otters also represent generosity, mercy and kindness, for they are never seen aggressive or violent animals.

They know how to defend themselves and are aware of their disadvantages and their skills. They would unite in order to chase away a big, hungry predator, for example or anyone who would see to damage their homes.

These animals represent the most positive values you could imagine.

Symbolically, otters are associated with family values, friendship, home, balance and harmony in life. Otters also represent modesty and humbleness. They embody everything that is opposite to greed, jealousy, evil, manipulation, lust and aggression.

For a good reason, these animals are seen amazing and beautiful, in reality, as well as in the world of spirits and symbols.

Otter totem and spiritual powers

That said, we could easily conclude what is the nature of Otter people. These cheerful and positive individuals have a vibrant, bright aura that motivates and inspires others. These individuals are not attention seekers; they are never greedy or jealous of others.

They value what they have and are very aware of all of their flaws and weaknesses. However, they also know what their qualities are.

Otter people are capable of finding peace and harmony within themselves, more easily than other people.

They see life as simply beautiful. They know there are challenges and obstacles one has to overcome, but generally, they look at life as a game. They are no prone to despair or complaining.

When times hit them hard, Otter people seek love and support in their closest ones.

They are not shy and they do not hesitate to ask for help, but only in extreme situations. They are capable of taking care about themselves and they are always ready to offer their help to those in need.

Otter people are loyal friends, passionate lovers, caring parents and good colleagues. They are not born to lead, but neither are they blind followers.

These individuals are usually very creative. If things go wrong, they would find a solution.

They always have a spare plan or they can easily come to one. Otter people are very intelligent and they love to learn. They are not too proud of themselves and are always open for new opportunities, new advices or ideas. They are great listeners and also great tutors.

People guided by Otter totem love to make things on their own. They are particularly interested in all kid of engineering stuff. They have an eye for design and a brain for constructing.

Sometimes, they could be workaholic. They are very prone to become obsessed with what they do and focus exclusively on an ongoing project.

Otter people are extremely curious and love to experiment with new projects and ideas. They have an open mind and are particularly adaptable and flexible people. In addition, Otter individuals are reliable and supportive of others and their plans and ideas.

However, sometimes they get lost in their own fantasies, realization of their dreams, projects and so on.

If you are guided by this amazing, inspiring totem, you should only try to keep all that incredible energy well balanced.

Otter people rarely feel as if they are losing control over things, so they could sometimes get lost in their fantasies and inventing plans on how to achieve them.

Sometimes it can get to the point where they forget about everything happening around! For all otter people, work represents pleasure.