France’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.
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.