A trail camera in an Upstate New York park is showing the world that even a hungry predator needs some time to unwind.

The Empire State has an impressive lineup of wildlife. While grocery-stealing black bears and curious coyotes may grab most of the headlines, there's another stealthier (and cuter) predator that recently made a splash when they were caught playing in Grafton, NY.

Even hungry predators need to take a break now and again, like this adorable animal caught on camera in upstate New York
Even hungry predators need to take a break now and again, like this adorable animal caught on camera in upstate New York (Grafton Lakes State Park via Facebook)

River Otter Spotted Playing on New York Trail Cam

River otters are one of the rarer species to spot in New York. While an impressive  project in the early 1990s helped reintroduce their population across the state, their late-night activities (river otters, like opossums, foxes, and skunks are generally nocturnal) generally keep them hidden from human eyes. That's why this video (below) is so special.

Are Otters the Cutest Animal in New York?

From sea otters that hold hands as they float in the water to New York's river otters, who love to slide on their bellies (below), it's easy to anthropomorphize these adorable creatures. The sliding isn't just for easier transportation, either, as many otter have been observed doing it just for fun. It also makes identifying their habitats much easier.

How to Spot Otter Habitats in New York State

"Slide marks" near bodies of water seen either in the snow during the winter or mud during the warmer months is a clear indication of an otter habitat. While these active predators spend much of their time hunting for their next meal, it seems like they're never too busy to spend a few minutes unwinding with play.

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Otters are just one of many members of the Mustelidae (aka weasel) family that call New York home. Weighing up to 30 pounds, river otters outsize smaller relatives like minks and fishers, but they still are not the biggest family member in the state. That honor belongs to the adorable animals below.

Frolicking Beaver Family Swims in the Hudson Valley

Mom, dad, and two adorable baby beavers took some family time out on a Orange County, NY lake

Gallery Credit: Jonah

Bear on Campus at SUNY New Paltz NY

On Thursday (June 23, 2022) this unassuming good-size black bear wandered onto campus and decided to climb a tree. The SUNY New Paltz Police along with the NYS DEC Police monitored the situation on-site. They were able to encourage the campus visitor to return home without incident.

Gallery Credit: Paty Quyn