This is the second birth for the species at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. It's also the second birth for parents Carlisle and Harley. The four pups were born on December 28, 2019.
Animal care staff kept the family behind the scenes as a precaution, while the newborns were small and helpless. Typically, Asian small-clawed otters remain in their den for several weeks, sleeping and nursing. They do not open their eyes until they are more than a month old, when the pups begin to explore their surroundings.
The quartet now weigh more than a pound each at twelve weeks. Along with their one-year-old sister Scotter, the pups are now acclimating to their large outdoor space in Land of the Tiger where they live with the babirusas.
Asian small-clawed otters are found in southeast Asia where they are considered vulnerable by the IUCN due to habitat destruction, pollution of waterways, and poaching. They are the smallest of the 13 otter species, with adults weighing between two and eleven pounds. Though more terrestrial than the other otter species, they are still agile and accomplished swimmers.
UPDATE (July 2020): The Asian small-clawed otter pups born in December 2019 are now being introduced to the babirusa pigs who the otters share their exhibit with. These keeper-supervised introductions are carefully facilitated to ensure the safety of all animals.
Check in on the otter family via our YouTube live web cam and social media!
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