“Sutro Sam” the river otter still camping out at Sutro Baths; begins tweeting

Photo by Natures Lantern – David Cruz

Last fall, we posted some great shots of a river otter that was frolicking at Sutro Baths. Today, the Chronicle reported that the otter, now known as “Sutro Sam”, has taken up residence in the ruins where he munches on goldfish and entertains visitors.

He’s the first river otter to show up in the confines of San Francisco in decades, according to the River Otter Ecology Project, which tracks otter sightings around the Bay Area.

Sutro Sam’s digs below the Cliff House are ideal for feeding – he’s got access to birds, mussels, and the various pet goldfish that people have “relocated” to the freshwater pool that fills up the old ruins, fed by a spring.

The Chron article starts out with the line, “Naturalists and wildlife aficionados are atwitter about the unexplained presence of a river otter at the ruins of Sutro Baths…”, which may have spawned the idea for the critter’s new Twitter handle – @SutroSam.

Sutro Sam tweeted up a storm today, expressing his desire to find a she-otter to keep him company, and the need to “commandeer plovers for micro-blogging” (his wet furry paws lead to typos in his tweets; another Twitter member suggested the sharp, precise beaks of the snowy plovers on Ocean Beach).

So far he only has 31 followers, but that includes some real heavyweights like the Academy of Sciences, the Ocean Beach Bulletin and well, this blog. 🙂

So the next time you’re out at the Baths, keep an eye out for Sutro Sam and be sure to tell him you like his tweeting! Otters need validation too.

Sarah B.


  1. Oh Cute!! I have to head out to Sutro Baths now in the hopes of seeing him. I also might have to join Twitter!!

  2. Just came home from having visited Sam. He’s very busy collecting grass and dragging it back under the pier. Guess he’s giving his nest a make-over in the hope of finding a female companion. A whole otter family would be even more fantastic.

  3. @Ann – Thanks for the update! He’s had a lot of visitors yet, so maybe a better shelter will also give him needed privacy 🙂

    Sarah B.

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