River Otter Pup’s Curiosity in Duckweed

Yesterday I shared some delightful photos of two North American river otter pups that I photographed at the wildlife refuge. (Two North American River Otter Pups). Today I want to showcase this engaging photo I took of one of the pups poking his head up through duckweed to check me out.

River Otter Pup In Duckweed
River Otter Pup In Duckweed

I came across the little guy while photographing at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. He was poking around a slough completely covered in a thick mat of duckweed. Lemna minor, commonly known as duckweed, can rapidly spread across the surface of still fresh water bodies like this one. From above it appears as a solid green carpet!

For an inquisitive young river otter, a duckweed loaded slough is an intriguing place to investigate. I watched excitedly as the pup repeatedly dove below the surface and then popped up through an opening in the leaves. Each time his little head emerged, he would turn to look directly at me.

The curious otter kept peeking around with his tiny nose in the air, scoping out who I was and what I was doing. Rather than hunting for food beneath the floating greenery, he was much more interested in surfacing to check me out! I was able to get some great shots of him popping up through the duckweed to stare at the strange human. The inquisitive look on his adorable furry face was priceless!

River otter pups are such a joy to observe as they explore around them. Their natural curiosity and lively energy are so endearing. I feel fortunate to have witnessed this little pup’s interest in me as he made discoveries in the duckweed. Stay tuned for more photos from my adventures at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge!

Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: August 18, 2022 (10:18 A. M.)
  • Program Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f8.0
  • Shutter speed: 1/2500
  • ISO: 4000 (Auto)
  • Exposure Compensation: +1/3
  • Focal Length: 500 mm