North American River Otter (Lontra Canadensis)
If they can find a slope to slide down, whether it is icy or muddy, they will make it into a slide. The energetic animals will launch themselves downhill sliding headfirst over and over again, gliding on their bellies with their front paws by their sides.
An aquatic animal, the River Otter lives around rivers, as their name suggests, but they also live around lakes and wetlands. In fact, they can stay underwater for up to 4 minutes, closing their ears and nostrils to keep water out. They hunt underwater for their main food source – fish – though its diet also includes birds, small rodents, frogs, crabs, crayfish, salamanders, snakes, clams, snails, turtles and insects.
The River Otter, however, is not bound to the water. When in search of a mate the River Otter will leave his watery home and travel across land. They even manage to make their land travel into a game, by running several steps and then sliding up to 20 feet at up to 18 miles per hour.
They are semi-nocturnal as they are more active at night while they spend the days sunning themselves on rocks or riverbanks.
While River Otters used to be extremely common throughout North America, in the 1720s they were overhunted for their lush fur and their populations declined significantly. Still today they are threatened by water pollution and the loss of habitat.