Where to See River Otters, Javelinas, & Manatees

Check out the top spots to find these three quirky creatures

River otters

Look for a muddy, one-foot-wide slide on the bank (often under bushes) where these nocturnal creatures enter the water. They live on the East and West coasts, around the Great Lakes, and in Canada.


Find this peccary (not a pig) bingeing on prickly pear in the Southwest’s Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts, particularly in Cochie Canyon, near Tucson. Best time: midday, in spring. They see poorly, so you can get close, but note: People have been trampled.


Paddle with these gentle giants in the winter, in the tepid pools of Florida’s Crystal River NWR. Watch for water ripples as they propel themselves upward for air.