Otter

Otter Pups Stick With Mom at Zoo de Beauval

1467327_995943487097264_3458600998992635807_nFrance’s ZooParc de Beauval is celebrating the arrival of three Asian Small-clawed Otter pups!  The trio was born to female Suri, who is providing excellent care.

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10924731_995943517097261_4268978560641731147_nPhoto Credit:  ZooParc de Beauval

As their name implies, these Otters have short claws, which is a helpful adaptation.  With short claws, they can more easily manipulate their prey, mainly crabs, mollusks, and fish. 

The smallest of the world’s 13 Otter species, Asian Small-clawed Otters live in family groups.  Pups remain in the nest until their eyes open at about 40 days old.  Otters are not born knowing how to swim – their mothers have to teach them, often by plunging them underwater.  Suri will soon introduce her pups to a life of swimming and hunting. 

Asian Small-clawed Otters are native to southern China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and are usually found near lakes, rivers, and wetlands.  In parts of Southeast Asia, these Otters roam through flooded rice fields.  They are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Shedd’s ‘Pup 681’ Has New Name

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On Friday, December 12, Shedd Aquarium, along with ABC’s Good Morning America, officially announced the name of its female rescued Southern Sea Otter pup, formerly known as ‘Pup 681’. Over 10,000 votes were tallied from the “Name the Sea Otter Pup” voting contest, which took place between Dec. 2 and Dec. 11, and the winning name is…Luna!

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IMG_3298Photo Credits: Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez ; Video Credits: Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin

The announcement was made on GMA and also during a special members-only event at Shedd Aquarium. During the event, Shedd’s animal care team announced the winning name and introduced the Sea Otter pup to the exhibit for the first time. The general public will have the opportunity to meet ‘Luna’ in person in Spring 2015 at the Regenstein Sea Otter habitat in the Abbott Oceanarium at Shedd.

Currently weighing in at 11 pounds, the pup is growing quickly and successfully reaching new milestones everyday including diving, foraging for food, grooming on her own and most recently the animal care team introduced four types of seafood to her diet.

The marine mammal team at Shedd provided name choices, which reflected geographic native habitats of Southern Sea Otters, a threatened species. The name Luna is derived from Half Moon Bay, the area close to where the pup was rescued. Shedd members had an exclusive opportunity to vote on their favorite name, making Luna the official Shedd member’s choice. 

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Omaha's Otter Pup Makes a Splash

1497919_10152809367325851_1839276454592659308_oAn African Spotted-neck Otter pup, born on July 27, is now making a splash with its mom on display at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.

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10452828_10152809347455851_877785572943373479_oPhoto Credit:  Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

Following a two-month gestation period, female Spotted-neck Otters can give birth to one to two pups at a time. Spotted-neck Otter pups are born in dens, where they remain for the first two to three months of life. When the pups are ready to venture out on their own, mom teaches them how to swim and hunt for fish.

This birth is one of only two to occur this year among a network of eight Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited institutions that house the species. There are now 22 Spotted-neck Otters within accredited zoos.

African Spotted-neck Otters—named for the distinctive blotches of cream-colored markings on their throats and chests—are native throughout central and southern Africa, primarily around Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika.

Their fully webbed feet enable them to maneuver along the river’s edge, where they hunt for fish, crab, frogs, insects, birds and mollusks. In general, Otters are regarded as indicators of a healthy aquatic ecosystem.

Though Spotted-neck Otters have an extensive range and are not currently under threat, there is concern that their population could decline due to degradation of their aquatic habitat and hunting of Otters for bushmeat. 

See more photos of the Otter pup below.

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Asian Small-Clawed Otter Pup Ready for Visitors

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Denver Zoo welcomed the birth of an adorable, Asian Small-Clawed Otter on August 26. The male, named ‘Jilin’ (JEE-Lin) has been under the care of mother, ‘Asha’, and father, ‘Bugsy’.

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Small-clawed-otter_Jilin_03Photo Credits: Denver Zoo

Zookeepers are giving the young pup the choice to stay behind the scenes or venture into public view. Viewing of the pup may be limited for the next few weeks, but keepers expect him to be out very soon. Asha came to Denver Zoo from Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 2012. Bugsy, who arrived here in 2013, is from Zoo Atlanta. Both were born in 2005. Bugsy, who comes from a large family, is known for his caring personality. Both Asha and Bugsy have proved to be great first-time and very hands-on parents.

The name Jilin, which is also a Chinese province formerly known as Kirin, pays homage to one of Denver Zoo’s other Asian Small-Clawed Otters, ‘Barry Kirin’.

Keepers say the pup has a playful spirit. He enjoys playing with clam shells and plastic balls, hiding from mom and dad and learning to swim. Keepers say he is becoming more playful and brave as he grows older.

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Shedd, Monterey Bay Aquariums to Host Live Online Event with Sea Otter Pup 681

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On Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 12 p.m. CT, Shedd Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium will host a Google Hangout On Air session with the public to share the latest progress and information on rescued Sea Otter Pup 681.

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5C9A0810Photo Credits: Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez ; Video Credits: Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin

Moderated by legendary journalist and aquarium supporter, Bill Kurtis, the live, online event will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the growing Sea Otter pup and first-hand accounts from Shedd and Monterey Bay experts involved in her rescue and continual, round-the-clock care.

Registration for the Google Hangout On Air session can be found at the following: 

Poolside with Sea Otter Pup 681

Linkhttps://plus.google.com/u/0/b/105549743721850303180/events/cspsbn8k5topojj1hfmrh6135s0

Follow the conversation at #puphangout

 

More info and amazing pics, below the fold!

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Otter-ly Adorable Arrivals at Newquay Zoo

Baby Otters 16.10.14Three tiny Otter cubs are melting the hearts of visitors at the United Kingdom’s Newquay Zoo after making their first public appearance this week.Baby Otter 16.10.14

Baby Otters 2Photo Credit:  Newquay Zoo

Born in September, the Asian Small-clawed Otter cubs are still in the nest box, but zoo visitors can view them through a glass panel.  It won’t be long before the pups begin learning to swim under the careful guidance of their parents and others in the zoo’s group of 19 Otters.

“The cubs are impossibly cute," said Newquay Zoo Director Stewart Muir.  “Asian Small-clawed Otters are incredibly social animals, compared with other Otter species, so visitors will be able to watch how the cubs’ siblings play an active role in teaching them how to cope in the strange new world outside the nest."

Asian Small-clawed Otters are carnivores, and they work together to kill prey, much the same as a pride of Lions. In the wild, they hunt Snakes, Lizards, Crabs, Toads, Rodents, Quails and other birds. Their zoo diet includes ground meat and small mammals to reflect their natural food sources in the wild.

Asian Small-clawed Otters are the smallest Otter species in the world and are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Habitat destruction, water pollution and over fishing have led to a rapid decline in their numbers in Southeast Asia. The IUCN estimates the global population has declined by up to 30% over the last 30 years.


Gettin’ Schooled in Swimming at Zoo Berlin

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The young Asian Small-Clawed Otters, at Zoo Berlin, have been entertaining visitors with their undeniable cuteness and their playful antics. Recently, swimming lessons were the preferred activity, and their parents were close by to supervise.

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ZooBerlin_Small Clawed Otter_4Photo Credits: Zoo Berlin

The Asian Small-Clawed Otter is the smallest otter species in the world.  They are native to the mangrove swamps and freshwater wetlands of Bangladesh, Burma, India, southern China, Taiwan, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.  Their paws and claws are a distinctive feature and give the animal a high degree of manual dexterity for feeding on mollusks, crabs and other small aquatic creatures.

The Asian Small-Clawed Otter is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. The threat to the Small-Clawed Otter is similar to that of Smooth-Coated and Eurasian Otters. Throughout Asia the potential threat to its continued survival is destruction of its habitats due to changing land use pattern in the form of developmental activities. In many parts of Asia, the habitats have been reduced due to reclamation of peat swamp forests and mangroves, aquaculture activities along the intertidal wetlands, and loss of hill streams. In India, the primary threats are loss of habitats due to tea and coffee plantations along the hills, loss of mangroves due to aquaculture, increased human settlements, and siltation of smaller hill streams due to deforestation. Increased influx of pesticides into the streams from the plantations reduces the quality of the habitats. 

Learn more about the otter, below the fold!

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You Otter See What's New At The Detroit Zoo

Whisker and Pup -- Jennie Miller

For the second time in two years, the Detroit Zoo is celebrating the birth of North American River Otters. Two male pups – born April 2, 2014, to mother Whisker, 11, and father Lucius, 8 – made their public debut today.

The female River Otter delivers a litter of one to six pups after an eight-week gestation period. At around two months, the young ones get their first swimming lesson when their mother pushes them into the water. Otters are natural swimmers and, with maternal supervision, the pups quickly catch on.

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Otter Pup Exploring Habitat - Jennie MillerPhoto credit: Jenny Miller

 

“Whisker is an experienced and attentive mother, guiding her pups through many new experiences – the most important of which is to encourage and reassure them as they strengthen their swimming abilities,” said Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Mammals Elizabeth Arbaugh.

The yet-to-be-named pups can be seen showing off their newfound aquatic skills at the Detroit Zoo’s Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat. The naturalistic environment features a 5,900-gallon pool with a waterfall and waterslide, and the habitat is designed so that small children can view the otters at eye level as they swim.

The North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) can weigh 20-30 pounds, and its slender, cylindrical body can reach 2-3 feet in length. The aquatic mammal sports short, dense, waterproof fur and profuse whiskers. The playful River Otter is swift on land as well as in the water, though its loping trot can look somewhat ungainly compared to its graceful slide through the water.

Once abundant in U.S. and Canadian rivers, lakes and coastal areas, River Otter populations have suffered significant declines as a result of fur trapping, water pollution, habitat destruction, pesticides and other threats. Today, they can be found in parts of Canada, the Northwest, the upper Great Lakes area, New England and Atlantic and Gulf Coast states.


Otter Pup Beats the Odds at Dallas Zoo

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Dallas Zoo in Texas is celebrating the successful birth and nurturing of an Asian Small-clawed Otter pup. She was born on January 25, but needed more than 100 days of devoted care from her keepers, because otter pups born without siblings usually do not survive.

The pup’s mother, Daphne, became the oldest female otter in the national Species Survival Plan’s breeding population to give birth. Now 13, Daphne was age 12 years, 9 months when the pup was born. The pup has been named Tasanee, which means 'beautiful view' in Thai. Dad Jimmy, eight years old, was born at the Dallas Zoo in 2006.

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Photo credit: Dallas Zoo

See video of the otter pup: 

Otters typically give birth to three or four pups. The survival rate for single otter pups is extremely poor, possibly due to their mothers’ insufficient milk production and lack of stimulation from litter-mates. Since 2000, only 18 single pups have been born in U.S. zoos, and 76 percent have died. Tasanee is the first female single pup to survive longer than 30 days.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our team,” said Dr. Lynn Kramer, D.V.M., vice president of animal operations and welfare at the Dallas Zoo. “The safe birth of a single pup to the oldest otter mother to give birth has required skilled, dedicated care.”

See and read more after the fold.

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Otters Pups Get First Checkup at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

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Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo has welcomed four North American River Otter pups, born on February 15. The babies had their first exam by the zoo's veterinarian on April 17, revealing the sex and general health of the otters.

The pups are two females and two males. The females weighed in at 3.1 pounds (1/4 kg) and 2.29 pounds (1.04 kg) while the males weighed in at 3.06 pounds (1.4 kg) and 3.4 pounds (1.5 kg) Dr. Hochman, who has been a vet at the zoo for 43 years, checked their overall wellness, listened to their hearts, and gave them their first vaccination. The pups also had identification transponders inserted. (This is standard operating procedure and does not cause the animals any discomfort.)

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5 otterPhoto credit: Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

"At nearly nine weeks old, the pups have yet to venture out in public," explains Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. "They opened their eyes for the first time about two weeks ago and are just starting to explore the world around them. We expect that any day now, their mom will be coaxing them out to teach them to swim. If all goes well, these little ones will be swimming like pros within a week."

Mom, named Necedah, arrived at the only zoo in 2012 from the Minnesota Zoo and Dad, Rizzo, arrived in 2004 from the St. Louis Zoo. She is two years old and he is 11 years old. This is Necedah's first litter and Rizzo's fifth. Currently, Rizzo, Necedah, and their pups are the only otters in residence at the Zoo. The four pups are expected to be on exhibit at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo through the fall, at which time some or all may be transferred to other Association of Zoos and Aquarium's member institutions for breeding.

See and read more after the fold.

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