Otterly Exciting News from Maymont



Release Date: May 9, 2017

They’re coming! Richmond’s favorite aquatic mammals, North American river otters (Lontra canadensis), will delight guests at Maymont once again beginning Tuesday, May 16. A male and a female, both approximately two years old, will live in the otter exhibit at the Robins Nature & Visitor Center. Both otters were found raiding crayfish farms in their home state of Louisiana, and local authorities categorized them as “nuisances” to be removed from the wild. With assistance from state game and fisheries officials and partner zoos and aquariums, Maymont will now provide a safe and enriching home for them. Maymont has been searching for new otters to rescue since last fall after its beloved long-time residents, Neptune (age 19) and Pandora (age 17), died of natural causes.

“We are thrilled to have otters at Maymont again,” said Henry “Buz” Bireline, Maymont Director of Habitats and the Nature Center. “The Richmond community adored Neptune and Pandora, and visitors and fans have been eager to know when another pair would arrive. We can’t wait to introduce everyone to these smart and playful new residents.”

The male otter is named “Louis” – a shortened nickname for Louisiana and a reference to Louis Armstrong, the influential jazz musician born in New Orleans. The name was selected by Jody Korman, a Maymont supporter who won the opportunity during the 2016 Vintage Maymont auction.

Maymont fans will have a chance to help choose the name of the female otter during a special campaign that will be announced later this month.

Guests can enjoy watching the antics of the new otters at the Robins Nature & Visitor Center at 2201 Shields Lake Drive during open hours Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm. Admission to the Nature Center is $4 per person; free for Maymont members. For more information, visit or call 804-358-7166, ext. 310.

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