Our Mascot: The River Otter

Van Ness families got to weigh in on our school's mascot from a selection provided by DCPS (other choices were a heron and an owl--all three are animals found on our area). The North American River Otter was the crowd favorite!

In addition to being incredibly adorable, river otters are playful, curious, and active. Sound like anyone you know? Their boundless energy comes from their very high metabolism. These social animals communication with a range of funny noises—whistles to buzzes, twitters, staccato chuckles, chirps, and growls. Again, somewhat…familiar.

While they might be hard to find—they are active mainly at night—there are otters here right in the city. They’ve been spotted in the C&O Canal, by Fletcher’s boat house, and more close to our home, just up the river from us on a tributary of the Anacostia by the National Arboretum. If you want to see a river otter up close without the challenge of finding them in the wild, you can visit two North American river otters at the National Zoo.