Do Otters Eat Rabbits?

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Written By Charles

Rabbits and Otters. Two cute and often beloved animals by just about everybody. However, the reality is a tad bit different and far more depressing. Do otters eat rabbits?

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Do Otters Eat Rabbits?

Do Otters Eat Rabbits? Otter digging through rabbit den

Yes, otters will gladly eat rabbits. Otters are carnivorous predators that feed on small land critters when the opportunity strikes. This includes a cute little bunny.

Even though a river otter’s diet is 90% fish, they still eat other things.

We are mainly referring to river otters. Sea otters have less accessibility to rabbits and prefer to eat bivalves.

Why Do Otters Eat Rabbits?

Why would something as cute as an otter try to feed on something as adorable as a rabbit? Well, there are two reasons for this.

One, river otters need to eat roughly 15-20% of their own body weight every day. They need this constant intake of food because of their high metabolism and the need to generate body heat. Eating rabbits, amongst other land critters, is just another meal for these gluttons.

Two, otters are predators and carnivores. They mainly eat animal protein and are powerful enough to take down prey like a rabbit. In theory, there isn’t much reason not to eat a rabbit for an otter. Just another easy meal.

Now, don’t go thinking that otters are hunting rabbits down as their main food source. Otters thrive in the water and mainly eat fish and clams because of how much better they are at hunting in the water.

Because of this, and because they need to eat so much daily, it wouldn’t make sense for river otters to hunt land creatures regularly.

However, otters have been known to go into rabbit dens in search of a meal. The above image shows an otter checking a rabbit den for an easy lunch.

Not surprising, considering otters belong to the same family as ferrets and stoats. Both of them actively hunt rabbits, with ferrets being used by humans to hunt them.

And if it makes you feel any better, otters do take down snakes which are also predators of rabbits. Maybe that evens out the karma?


Hopefully, this helps you answer your question on whether or not otters eat rabbits and encourages you to explore more information about the topic!

Avoid putting otters together with rabbits, even if they are domesticated.


  • Charles is the owner and operator of Nocturnal Animals. Prior to writing for Nocturnal Animals, Charles studied animal sciences at university and has written extensively on various topics regarding animals.

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