Our otter pups take their first swimming lesson!
Published: Feb 17, 2017At around nine weeks our young otters begin to venture outside for their first swimming lesson. Their Keeper Owen tells what happens when they first go swimming...
At around nine weeks our young otters begin to venture outside. They were still quite nervous of their new surroundings, and are easily spooked by most things (even passing a bit of food towards them!). Shortly after this, the parents started to take them for their first “swimming lessons”. This consists of the pups being dunked into the water numerous times. This may seem a little unorthodox to us humans, but, for an aquatic species, like otters this is pretty normal. Otters live the majority of their life in and around water, so there is no better way to learn. The natural flowing stream through their enclosure is quite slow, so is a good safe place to learn in. At around the same time our youngsters had just started to try eating solids. Their teeth aren’t quite large enough yet to start eating the same food as their parents, but, they will begin to gnaw on some of the softer food items for the time being. For now, they will still go back for a feed from Jam (Mum) for a little while yet.
Over the next few weeks, we expect the little ones to gain in size and confidence. They are already play fighting with each other, which builds muscle strength and coordination. We’ll also keep topping up their diet up as and when needed until they reach adult size. These youngsters will carry on growing to adulthood, where they will either stay with us here at Newquay Zoo, or go on to pastures new to continue educating and entertaining the public about the species. For now, we’ll just enjoy watching them grow and having fun!