North American River Otter live in East Texas. However they are said to be extremely shy and very rare. So rare in fact that Texas Wildlife asks to report sightings. I had wondered if they even inhabited the lake where I go paddling in East Texas, and if they did could I even hope to see one? At the very end of 2021, I was on my kayak, silently paddling the very shallow and boggy part of the lake, in the early morning, hoping for a beaver sighting.
Then I saw a little head poking out of the water. Smaller than a beaver, with very big whiskers. When it did stick its whole neck out of the water, there was no doubt: a river otter! And I was not even trying! This apparition filled me with joy for days.