“Sutro Sam” the river otter hasn’t been seen in weeks. Did he move on?

Photo by Natures Lantern – David Cruz

Despite becoming a local celebrity with his own Twitter account, children’s book and throngs of admirers, Sutro Sam the river otter may have abandoned his home in the pools of the Sutro Baths ruins.

The young river otter first came on the scene last October, spending his days swimming in the fresh water of the pools and chowing down on fish.

Word quickly spread of his presence, with both tourists and locals stopping by the baths to watch him dip and dive, and sun himself on the warm concrete. One fan even opened a twitter account in his honor, and a local mother wrote a children’s book called “The Legend of Sutro Sam” to fill in his back story.

But it looks like Sutro Sam, as he’s been dubbed, may have moved on from his swanky digs. He may have left his comfy digs to find a mate, or he may have eaten up all the available fish in the Sutro Baths fresh water pond, requiring him to find other food sources.

Researchers tested Sam’s scat after he showed up and determined that “he is a young male, about the age where testosterone-fueled otters normally disperse from their parental clans.” [SFGate]. Which explains his solo appearance, and also perhaps his burning desire to find a she-otter.

Safe travels, Sutro Sam – you will be missed! If you find a mate, be sure to bring her back to Sutro Baths for a weekend getaway.

Sarah B.


  1. I saw him yesterday around 6am. I live walking distance. He was very close to the Cliff House. He needs a girlfriend!

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