The Wild Center works with Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club to name new North American river otters
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 6:34 am

TUPPER LAKE — The Wild Center, family expanded this summer when two male North American river otters made their debut in Otter Falls on Saturday, June 22. The pair's Kaniehkehaka names - Tawi:ne and Rohsno:re - were revealed Saturday, July 6 as part of The Wild Center's Ways of Knowing celebration.

The Wild Center's curator, Leah Valerio, worked with the Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club to name the two new otters.

As part of the Club's end of year party, Valerio taught the group about North American river otters, painted otter faces on the kids and led a discussion in which youth developed suitable names for the pair, a press release from The Wild Center said.

Students chose Tawi:ne (da-WEE-nay) meaning "otter" and Rohsno:re (low-SNOW-lay) meaning "he's fast" in the Kaniehkehaka language. The project works to keep the spirit alive of the lasting Ways of Knowing partnership between The Wild Center and the Haudenosaunee community.

"The kids were so much fun … silly, inquisitive and just generally a joy to be around," said Valerio. "I've never met a more helpful bunch. They all asked how they could help."

The otters began their journey to The Wild Center in Ohio where they were trapped as nuisance animals.

Trapped river otters are often slated to be killed and used for fur, or in some cases, relocated to areas without enough food to survive, the press release said. The Wild Center's Animal Care staff was made aware of their situation and jumped at the opportunity to rescue the pair.

The Wild Center is located at 45 Museum Dr.