Two male North American river otters made their debut at the Wild Center’s Otter Falls exhibit on June 22.
The pair’s Kanienkehaka names – Tawi:ne and Rohsno:re – were revealed on 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 the youth developed suitable names for the pair.
The students chose Tawi:ne (da-WEE-nay) meaning “otter” and Rohsno:re (low-SNOW-lay) meaning “he’s fast” in the Kanienkehaka language.
The pair 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 Wild Center’s Animal Care staff was made aware of their situation and decided to take in the pair.
The Akwesasne Cultural Center, The Six Nations Indian Museum, the Native North American Travelling College and The Wild Center united to broaden and heighten understanding and appreciation of the natural world.
The collaborative and multi-faceted project Ways of Knowing opened at The Wild Center in 2018 and encourages visitors to continue their exploration at the Akwesasne Cultural Center in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne, The Six Nations Indian Museum in Onchiota and the Native North American Travelling College on Cornwall Island.
The Wild Center is located at 45 Museum Drive Tupper Lake. More information is available on their website.
Photo of Tawi:ne the river otter provided.