If you need a quick break from the holiday hustle and bustle, check out this video of an otter swimming under an ice fishing hole in northern Minnesota.
Minnesota is known for being home to not only 10,000 lakes (which is actually over 11,800 if we're being precise) but also to lots of wildlife that lives in our near those lakes, streams and rivers.
And while we've all seen animals like geese, deer and the occasional fox (which my wife spotted in the woods behind our house in northwest Rochester last week), I can't say I've ever seen an otter in the wild here in Minnesota.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota is home to over 12,000 otters.
The river otter is Minnesota's largest aquatic carnivore that lives in most northern Minnesota lakes, ponds, and streams. It can swim and maneuver better than many fish, and swims with only the top of its head out of the water. After an absence of more than a century, its range is again extending into southern Minnesota.
And the crew at Vergas Hardware (located on Main Street in Vergas, near Detroit Lakes, about four and a half hours northwest of Rochester) happened to be doing some ice fishing on Sybil Lake when they spotted an otter swimming and playing around under the ice.
They posted the way-cool video on their Facebook page earlier this week, saying "Brad and I filmed this guy coming through our spear hole on Sybil Lake. A sign we otter move to a different spot."
The DNR also notes that otters have are incredible swimmers, and like to eat fish, so I'm guessing this guy was probably more successful that day than the Vergas Hardware crew was!
It does look like he's having a good time, doesn't it? And while otters appear to be playful and fun, you can't really keep one as a pet-- along with these other animals that are illegal to have as pets here in Minnesota. Keep scrolling to check them out!