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It’s Always one Thing or an Otter: Baby Otters Screened at Newark

Thursday, February 23, 2012
Otters

Otters are used to frolicking around in the water and snacking on invertebrates and such, but when it comes to airline security, it’s safe to say that’s one area otters aren’t used to. Anyhoo, these furry little Asian River Otter pups and their significant “otters” were quickly screened and on their way in no time.

While many otters are content with being in jug bands, these particular otters reside at the Wildlife World Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona and were on their way back from the David Letterman show. One of the feisty little dudes mistook Jack Hanna’s thumb for a chicken foot and took a bite out of it. If you haven’t seen it, you really “otter” check it out.

If you plan on traveling with your own romp of otters, or any other type of pet, service animal, or what have you, be sure to let us know you’re coming if you’re not familiar with the process or if you’d just like to give us a heads up. For example, we knew the otters were coming, and we were able to move the handlers ahead of the very busy line at the checkpoint and then relocate everybody to one of our offices to screen the otters in a much calmer environment. It was “otterly” seamless.

I imagine that living the life of an otter would be fantastic, but hey... aren’t things always greener on the “otter” side? If we ever see these pups again, you best believe we’ll be the first to say “Welcome Back Otter.”

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Otters are tasty.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think the TSA 'otter' pay more attention to REAL issues, and less to fluff pieces.

Submitted by Anonymous on

But, on the otter hand...

Hey Bob, nice job. You had me on the edge of my seat thinking "when will it stop" followed by "no way he can do an otter pun." Thanks for the smile.

Submitted by Laura Monteros on

Cute! I think we otter recommend this to our friends Twotter.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ok, enough with the "otter" puns. Seriously, while I'm not a great fan of the TSA I must give kudos to their handling of our son and daughter-in-law's mini schnauzer as he prepared to cross the atlantic. In his travel crate at JFK awaiting departure he was not quite his normal, imperious self. You know schnauzers, even the "mini" type tend to look down at the rest of the world...with good nature of course. Anyway, he had to be checked by a TSA person. A young guy in TSA garb came up to him, knelt down to check him out, talking to him ( and me) all the time. He said he was a dog owner himself and commented on what a handsome schnauzie this dog was. I think it put the pooch at ease somewhat. A little "niceness" went a long way. Next stop was Frankfurt where he arrived safe and sound. Thanks to that TSA guy at JFK a couple of years ago....

Submitted by RB on

Given the recent issues with a TSA Trainer taking bribes, TSA Screeners missing 2 and 1/2 pounds of C-4 Explosive at Fayetteville, TSA screeners stealing from passengers, TSA Screeners Strip Search the elderly seems to me Bob that you Otter be talking about these things instead of things that have nothing to do with security.

Seriously, was the Otter story the very best use of your time and none of the other issues even get a mention?

Really?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Nice fluff. Insulin pump.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

We "otter" do more pieces like this.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

On February 15th, Blogger Bob posts the following:

We take your feedback seriously and will use the details you provide to look into your concerns.

The discussion that followed included several complaints that have so far been ignored.

And what was a higher priority for Blogger Bob than "taking our feedback seriously"?

A post about Otters.

Amazing...

Submitted by Anonymous on

I wouldn't bring my pet through a TSA checkpoint because I wouldn't trust a TSA employee to carefully, or respectfully, screen the animal.

Based on the recent article in the Huffington Post detailing the litany of crimes involving TSA employees, no other American should trust a TSA employee either.

Submitted by RB on

Perhaps TSA otter be focusing on the cost of TSA's failed security policies.

http://amyalkon.mensnewsdaily.com/2012/02/23/the-tsa-kills/


"While we're looking at the stats, per an email from anti-TSA blog, the @TSANewsBlog, the TSA confiscated 1200 guns in 2011. The TSA spent about $8 billion, so cost per gun found is over $6 million. And not one of them belonged to a terrorist."

Submitted by Anonymous on

It sounds like the otters had a better screening experience than I usually have. If I can get use a metal detector line, the screening process usually goes smoothly. If I get selected for the AIT scanner, I have to opt out for medical reasons. That results in a patdown. I've experienced some very invasive patdowns that seemed punitive for opting out of something I could not have gone through with.

The otter piece is cute, but I would rather see other areas of concern addressed. There have been numerous theft issues and the C-4 getting through at Fayetteville that I would like to see addressed just to name a couple of things.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I'm not a great fan of the TSA I must give kudos to their handling of our son and daughter-in-law's mini schnauzer as he prepared to cross the atlantic. "

Given the totally unnecessary imposition of screening the dog, I guess you should be happy. Kind of like not getting punched in the face when you'd normally expect to.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"We "otter" do more pieces like this.

West
TSA Blog Team"

So that the blog becomes completely meaningless?

Start addressing real issues or we'll have you shut down as a wasteful use of taxpayer money.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's better to not have a blog, then to ignore the issues that are infuriating 90% of your commenters and millions of Americans overall and post a bunch of nonsense how you are otter friendly.

Submitted by Anonymous on

West, how about if you deal with the collapse of your years-long lie about a BDO "success" in Florida first?

Submitted by Kimm on

"...Anonymous said...
I wouldn't bring my pet through a TSA checkpoint because I wouldn't trust a TSA employee to carefully, or respectfully, screen the animal...."


I agree, based on the "respect" I get with my brace from TSA, I wouldn't trust them with knowing how to handle my animal either.

Does anyone hear how ridiculous this sounds? Screening animals now?

Oh, and I'm still waiting for an answer from the "feedback" I sent oh....2 YEARS ago!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Blogger Bob said:
"Anyhoo, these furry little Asian River Otter pups and their significant “otters” were quickly screened and on their way in no time."

Any chance you start doing this for people too?

Submitted by Anonymous on

" Anonymous said...
It's better to not have a blog, then to ignore the issues that are infuriating 90% of your commenters and millions of Americans overall and post a bunch of nonsense how you are otter friendly.

February 24, 2012 9:12 AM"
----------------
For once we agree!
Any TSA personnel I have spoken to believe that this blog is fully a waste of time and resources that could better be spent on the front lines. TSA is not going to change it's policies based on whats said here. You guys arent going to stop asking the same questions over and over...
So what is the purpose of this blog other than to keep more employees away from screening by moderating posts?

Submitted by Anonymous on

To those with comments about the inspection of the schnauzer going through TSA inspection, we was riding in the pressurized luggage area and didn't go through the passenger checkpoint. He was looked at at the checked luggage area since he was "cargo". And..actually it was his travel crate being looked at more than the dog himself.

Submitted by Anonymous on
If you plan on traveling with your own romp of otters, or any other type of pet, service animal, or what have you, be sure to let us know you’re coming

How would the TSA like us to let them know we are coming?

We are not mind readers.

Or is the method "SSI"?
Submitted by RB on

And while TSA is wasting time screening otters at Newark things over at JFK are at a standstill because TSA apparently doesn't know how to properly control a checkpoint.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57384337/security-breach-at-jfk-airp...

Security breach at JFK Airport


Gonna brag about TSA operations over at JFK next Bob. Isn't this a repeat of a recent TSA Foul Up?

Submitted by Anonymous on

" Anonymous said...
If you plan on traveling with your own romp of otters, or any other type of pet, service animal, or what have you, be sure to let us know you’re coming

How would the TSA like us to let them know we are coming?

We are not mind readers.

Or is the method "SSI"?

February 24, 2012 11:58 AM"
---------------------
Uh, there's this little device Alexander Graham Bell invented...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Uh, there's this little device Alexander Graham Bell invented...


------------------------------------

Is that the method TSA wants us to use?

Are we to call TSA headquarters?, the airport?

Should we ask for anyone special?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Uh, there's this little device Alexander Graham Bell invented..."

Yeah, give that a shot in Denver and let me know what you think. The TSA has extended its incompetence to the telephone.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's otterly brillians I say, we transport otters believe it or not when they have been poorly or get injured we pick them up and take them to the vets! They are very very cute http://www.pettaxi.co.uk here is our site check it out I think we've got some pictures on there aswell give us a shout if you need any pet transport in the Herts area!

Heres another useful link if your into Otters the A link to W3Schools.com:
otter blog

Speak soon guys

Submitted by Anonymous on

I see you are fully exploiting your irrelevance to bring us stories of cute animals so perhaps we don't notice what an incredible waste of funds your organization is.

Submitted by Anonymous on

How come the TSA would even think that the otters could be concealing weapons? Did you think these are trained ninja otters that would escape from their cages with throwing stars and go through the duct work to the cockpit and take over the aircraft? How rediculous!

Submitted by Anonymous on

hiiii its good

Submitted by Donna Hart on

Awww, they're so cute! I'm glad they got cleared pretty quickly because I've seen some animals take quite a long time to get cleared and that can be sad for both animal and owner.

Submitted by Yucel on

Those are some cute critters...

What makes otters so cute anyway?

And... not only do they look cute, they act cute...

Cute goes clear to the DNA., me thinks...

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA was created from a knee-jerk reaction of fear and benefits only the wealthier cohort of this nation. Those without the means to fly are expected to morally and fiscally support an $8 billion dollar fund that has contributed to our well-being by posting a fluff piece about an otter. Wonderful.