Wednesday, 25 May is World Otter Day – a day to celebrate these otterly amazing creatures and to raise awareness that they need our protection.
Out-of-this-World Otter facts!
- Otters are members of the Mustelid family, which includes badgers, polecats, martens, weasels, stoats and mink
- There are 13 different species of otter in total. The largest is the giant river otter, which is one of the largest carnivores in South America, while the smallest is the Asian short-clawed otter, which we have here at Newquay
- Otters have webbed feet and claws – for swimming underwater. They can also close their small ears and their noses when under water
- They can dive as deep as 14m under the surface and spend 4-6 hours a day in water foraging
- Otters make a variety of different vocalisations – they include a high-pitched whistle between a mother and her cubs, twittering noises produced during play-fighting, and cat-like noises when fighting. Asian short-claws are among the most vocal of all species, with a range of 12 different vocalisations
- Otter babies are usually called pups, but are also referred to as kits or kittens!
We have eight Asian short-clawed otters here at Newquay– breeding pair Topan and Jameela and their offspring, Bethan, Ffion, Ceri, Lloyd, Tamale and Tina.
Asian short-clawed otters can be found in fresh water wetlands and mangrove swamps, in southern India to southern China to the Malay Peninsula.In the wild, their diet mainly consist of fish, crabs, molluscs and snails. However, they have been known to prey on insects, snakes, lizards and some small species of rodent.
In the wild
Asian short-clawed otters are classified as Vulnerable, this is mainly due to habitat loss and also from pollution and overfishing, which affects the fish and crustaceans that the otters feed on.
Sponsor an otter
Sponsoring an otter at Newquay Zoo will make a real contribution to the daily care of our otters and wildlife conservation work across the world
Use your wallet as a weapon, and choose products that use sustainable palm oil, rather than methods that hurt otter habitats.