Snuggled in a furry pile, five Asian Small-clawed Otter pups born at North Carolina’s Greensboro Science Center on November 11 are just beginning to open their eyes and explore the world.
The pups are the first litter of this species ever born at the facility. For now, the pups remain behind the scenes with their parents, Jelly and Mark Lee. The family will move into their exhibit sometime in January or February, at which time the pups will learn how to swim in the exhibit’s deep pool.
Photo Credit: Greensboro Science Center
Jelly and Mark Lee came to the Science Center in the spring under the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. Asian Small-clawed Otters form monogamous pairs and mate for life. They are the smallest of the world's Otter species and inhabit swamps, rivers, and tidal pools in southeast Asia. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists these Otters as Vulnerable, due to habitat degradation, hunting, and pollution.
See more photos of the Otter pups below the fold.