It's been more than two years since we officially started Lutra Wildlife and Wilderness and we're starting to get used to correcting the spelling, and pronunciation ("loo-tra"), of our company name. Often this is followed by questions like; What does "Lutra" mean? Why did we choose this name? Well... we're glad you asked.
First, a bit of taxonomy... Lutra lutra is officially the species name for the European otter, an otter that Lee grew up observing and photographing back in the UK. Though our two beloved Canadian otters (Sea Otter and River Otter) are actually classified under different genera, "Lutra" had a nice ring that we both enjoyed.
But that's all definition. Why we choose the Otter for our small business name was more about the nature of Otters, rather than the taxonomy. We are privileged to lead tours through First Nations traditional land, and for many BC Coastal First Nations, the Otter symbolizes joy, laughter, intelligence and curiosity, all attributes that we aim to include in our tours.
Mostly though, we simply love Otters... We have yet to guide anyone who doesn't feel joy when watching an otter go about its activities!
A final comment about our name... The day after we decided on Lutra Wildlife and Wilderness, a curious interaction happened with one of our local River Otters while prepping salmon for our smoker. It only happened once, but - like many encounters with otters - it will continue to bring joy to us in the years to come...