Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I preview the otter art sculptures?
    Go back and click on Bid on an Otter!

  2. How many North Coast Otter sculptures are there?
    There are 108 North Coast Otters, plus Bunty, the Moor Otter, from England!

  3. When can I bid on an otter sculpture online?
    You may bid online, now! The highest bidder will take home their favorite otter at the end of the project this fall. Download the guidebook to search for the otters and support local businesses. Go back and view the Treasure Hunt page.

    In early September, 30 of the otters will be selected as “Humboldt Otters” to feature in a Live Auction at the end of the ‘in-person’ treasure hunt and art festival. The highest online bid prior to the Live Auction will form the reserve bid for each of the 30 Humboldt Otters.

    Stay tuned for the date and venue.

  4. I love that otter! What is the ‘Adoption Option’?
    If you fall in love with one or more otters, you can ‘adopt’ them to effectively reserve them to take home at the end of the summer festival. The agreed ‘adoption option’ rate is $5,000 for all otters, except for a few select otters, which are more.

    Contact Jeff at to make a top auction offer that will support the cause (e.g. river otters, student opportunities, and clean water habitats)!

  5. Tell me about the Otter Art and Ecology school program!
    Humboldt State University students in the Natural Resources Environmental Education and Interpretation program designed a curriculum that reaches multiple Next Generation Science Standards for 3rd through 5th grade. The program was delivered to seven schools in Humboldt county in Spring semester 2020 and then converted into a downloadable pdf and mini-videos for teachers and families.

  6. What’s the Junior Otter Spotter project all about?
    In addition to the Otter Art and Ecology school program, HSU students created a Junior Otter Spotter Activities booklet (download small PDF 36 MB / download large PDF 70 MB). Youngsters can use this activity book to learn about wild river otters while practicing their own artwork to become a ‘Junior Otter Spotter’ and win a sticker. 
    Junior Otter Spotter activity booklets are also available for kids (and kids at heart) at these participating visitor centers:
    • Crescent City Art (Crescent City)
    • HSU Natural History Museum (Arcata)
    • Arcata Marsh Visitor Center
    • Friends of the Dunes (Somoa)
    • Eureka Visitor Center (Old Town, Eureka)
    • Sequoia Park Zoo (Eureka)
    • Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Loleta)
    • Fortuna River Lodge
    • Southern Humboldt Chamber Visitor Center (Garberville)

  7. Tell me about the raffle prizes! 
    Visit 20 otters and submit your entry for a chance to win:
    • Los Bagels breakfast for 2
    • Adventures Edge gift certificates
    • Organic Coffee at the Straw House
    • Free entry passes – Sequoia Park Zoo
    • Adventure tours with Pacific Outfitters
    • Crab sandwich lunch for 2 at Gill’s By the Bay
    • Massage session and gift certificates at Soul Feet (Crescent City)
    • Voucher at Oberon Grill 
    • Gift certificate from Organic Grace (Garberville)
    • Birdwatching and Otter Spotting tour with North Coast Otters

    There will be ‘Most Sustainable Otter Spotter’ prizes for those showing how they completed their North Coast Otter treasure hunt(s) in a sustainable way (e.g. biking, hiking, and electric vehicles).

  8. How sustainable is your project?
    We are striving to reduce our carbon footprint in some small, but creative ways. We reached out to colleagues in the IUCN Otter Specialist Group and created a self-imposed type of ‘carbon tax’ to compensate for the production and shipment of the otter sculptures. Our ‘carbon tax’ donation is being used to support education and research on the Asian small-clawed otter on Palawan Island in the Philippines. This otter is designated with the “vulnerable” category of threatened species. We also chose to reduce our carbon footprint in the following ways:
    The plinths (stands) that will eventually display the Otter Art sculptures were built using local, high quality craftsmanship from locally harvested wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). No shipping required.

    The North Coast Otter maps and booklets will be printed on recycled paper from printers with green printing techniques, and we will post for viewing online and as pdfs for downloading.

    No single use products, disposable merchandise, or trinkets were created or sold by North Coast Otters (extra stuff).

    During the treasure hunt to seek sightings and selfies with the Otter Art sculptures, we encourage the most sustainable approaches to travel that works for you.

    There will be a 'Most Sustainable Otter Spotter' prize for anyone who can show they have completed their North Coast Otter treasure hunt(s) in a sustainable way (e.g. biking, hiking, and electric vehicles).

  9. I love this project! How do I donate to the cause?
    Please visit our donations link. The cause: river otters, student opportunities, and clean water habitats!

  10. I saw a wild river otter! How do I tell you about it?
    Send your observations to, telling us when, where, how many adults and smaller pups, and the otters’ behavior. Or type the information on this form online.