River otters are known for their antics, whether performing in the wild or in an aquarium. This animal can grow to around three or four feet and weigh more than forty pounds. It can live up to fifteen years in the wild and sometimes longer in captivity. However, back in the 1800s and early 1900s, the river otter had all but vanished from the North Carolina landscape. Uncontrolled trapping, water pollution, and habitat destruction contributed to its demise. In the 1970s the state began an otter reintroduction program. Today the otter has been successfully restored throughout the state.