You Otter see this at Edinburgh Zoo

October 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Edinburgh Zoo’s Oriental short-clawed otters welcomed five new borns to the raft in July this year. The ten week old pups have now started venturing out and about in their enclosure, much to the delight of visitors.

The quintuplets were born to mum Elena and dad Ray, this is their third litter since arriving at the Zoo. The youngsters have recently started to explore their new surroundings under the watchful eyes of their older sisters, Eliza and Aisha, and of course their protective parents. Keepers have sexed the pups as three females and two males, who have yet to be named.

They can often be seen splashing around in their many ponds and waterfalls, particularly early in the morning, and are always first in the queue when it comes to feeding time.  Fish is also a firm favourite with these youngsters.

Native to Southeast Asia, they are the smallest of the thirteen species of otter family, weighing just 3.5kg when fully grown. These water loving animals are known for their extremely agile, hand-like front paws that are complete with short claws – giving these otters their name. Using these dexterous paws they can easily tackle a variety of prey, including crab, snails, molluscs, small fish and insects. Like other otter species they use their strong rudder-like tail to navigate and propel them through the water.

Interestingly, unlike the other species of otter, the Oriental short-clawed otters are a close knit family group, often known as a raft or romp.  The alpha pair and older offspring will all take part in rearing and protecting the young pups.

Make sure you stop by to watch this playful family on your next visit. They can be found in the middle of the park, just north of the Mansion House.


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