Four Otter pups were born at Woburn Safari Park in late September, and they’re now out of the den exploring their exhibit.
The Asian Small-clawed Otter pups are the second litter born to parents Kovu and Kelani. The first litter of five pups was born in July 2016. The one-year-olds are proving to be great helpers to Kovu and Kelani when it comes to managing the newborns.
Photo Credits: Woburn Safari Park (1,3,4,5); Linda McPherson (2)
The four new pups, one female and three males, recently received their first hands-on health check from keepers. The pups were microchipped, sexed, and given a quick exam. All four are doing well.
Animal keeper Louise Moody said, "We are really excited that Kelani has welcomed another litter successfully and that all the pups are doing well. Their older siblings are helping out their parents and bringing food for them all into the nest box.”
The four pups and seven adult Otters can now be seen playing together in their outdoor enclosure, and the pups are learning to swim. The water level in the exhibit pool has been temporarily lowered until the little Otters grow a bit bigger.
In a few months, the family will say goodbye to the older pups. They will be sent to other zoos to become part of Otter breeding programs.
Asian Small-clawed Otters are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. They live in coastal wetlands in South and Southeast Asia, and their habitat has been degraded and reduced significantly in recent decades.