OPB: Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe keeps an eye on health of rivers

"River otters always leave the water to poop. So if you want to catch them, you’ve got to head to the bathroom.

Kim Sager-Fradkin is head wildlife biologist for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

“Because we had a latrine site here we set a trap,” Sager-Fradkin pointed out.

She’s out checking a series of traps, set up near what are called “otter latrines” along the banks of the Elwha River with her intern Selena Gray.

“They function as bathrooms but also as social congregation sites and scent marking sites. So multiple otters will use a single latrine and any individual otter will use multiple latrines up and down the river so there’s always a whole series of latrines up and down the river.”

Sort of like restroom stops along the freeway. But instead of funky smells and toilet paper on the floor, otters prefer to relieve themselves on leafy green river-front property, as Selena Gray explains."

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