The 2020 Otter Keeper Workshop (OKWS) will be a comprehensive four-day workshop covering the care and management of otters under human care.  The workshop will be devoted to the five species managed in Association of Zoos and Aquariums, (AZA) facilities: African spotted-necked otters, Asian small-clawed otters, giant otters, North American river otters, and for the first time; sea otters. 

2020 will be the eighth offering of the OKWS.  The workshop rotates around the country to different regions of the country to make it affordable for attendees. 


Otter Keeper Workshop 2020 will be held at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon.  The Oregon Zoo is home to two species of otters.   The sea otters, Eddie, Juno and Lincoln, live in the Pacific Shores section of the zoo.  The North American river otters Tilly, 2013's Mother of the Year, and B.C. live in the Great Northwest portion of the zoo.  Currently their pups, Nestucca and Nehalem are there too.       

The majority of the sessions will be held at the Oregon Zoo itself.  Some activities may be at other sites within the area.  

Who should attend

The ultimate goal is to have an OKWS-trained staff person in each of the AZA otter-holding institutions. Since space is always limited at the workshop, institutions should only send one staff person per year. Only under extreme circumstances should an attendee participate in multiple years.  The workshop is meant for front-line otter keepers, although Zoo Educators, Curators, researchers and college students interested in otters have attended the workshop. International attendees are welcomed.  There have even been attendees from four other countries.

Registration will open on January 15th.  

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