The tiny male was born on August 27 to mom Cai, age 10, and dad Ian, age six. Both parents are caring for their baby behind the scenes. The zoo staff says it will be a few more weeks before the family returns to their exhibit habitat.
All of the baby Otter names submitted through October 20 will be reviewed by the zoo staff. The top four names will be selected and announced on the zoo’s Facebook page for a final vote from October 20 through November 3. The zoo plans to announce the winner on November 10.
Asian Small-clawed Otters live in wetlands and mangrove swamps in Southeast Asia, where they feed on Crustaceans and Mollusks. Every aspect of the Otter’s body is designed for efficient swimming, including the long, torpedo-shaped body, muscular tail, flattened head, and webbed feet. These Otters are the smallest of the world’s 13 Otter species.
Due to habitat degradation, illegal hunting, and pollution of waterways, Asian Small-clawed Otters are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The Kansas City Zoo, along with other accredited North American zoos, participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan to breed rare species and maintain a high level of genetic diversity in populations under human care.