Otter Keeper Workshop


September 24, 2023 - September 28, 2023

The 2023 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 sea otters.

2023 will be the ninth offering of the OKWS. The workshop occurs every other year and OKWS rotates to different regions of the country to make it affordable for attendees.


Otter Keeper Workshop 2023 will be held at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Audubon Zoo is home to two species of otters, Asian small-clawed otters and North American river otters.      

The majority of the workshop sessions will be held at the Audubon Zoo itself.  

Some activities may be at other sites within the area.  Travel to those will be covered as a part of the workshop.

Who should attend

Our 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 been attendees from five countries other than the United States.

Comments from past OKWS Participants

“I learned so much that I hardly know where to begin sharing with my institution.”

“Great info, can’t wait to take it back to our zoo!!”

“Thanks for everything! GREAT workshop!”

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