Please be advised we are currently operating under a COVID Management Plan. Some entry restrictions apply. Please visit SA Health Contact Tracing website here for the most up-to-date information regarding South Australians restrictions. We expect to reach our COVID-19 capacity during this period – please book date-specific tickets online here. On days when we are sold out, a number of tickets *might* become available as guests leave.

Animal Facts

  • Genus:

  • Species:

    A. cinerea
  • Conservation


  • Found In:

    South East Asia
  • Length:

  • Weight:


Meet our charismatic otters!

Adelaide Zoo is home to six otterly adorable Asian Small-clawed Otters.

Male Bao was born on 7 July 2012 at Perth Zoo and moved to Adelaide Zoo in 2013. Female Kalaya was born on 17 March 2015 at Auckland Zoo and arrived at Adelaide Zoo in early 2017 to be paired with Bao, with the pair shacking up in August 2017.

These inquisitive otters are a favourite amongst visitors and can often been seen frolicking in their watery home or sunning themselves on rocks.

Bao is a very energetic and charismatic boy and can be a bit more rowdy, particularly when it comes to food! Both Bao and Kalaya eagerly look forward to their delectable treats consisting of seafood, crustaceans and molluscs.

In February 2019, Kalaya and Bao welcomed their first litter of pups, with keepers naming the male-female duo Rama and Mali, meaning King and Jasmine Flower in Thai. Rama and Mali were joined by Kalaya and Bao’s second adorable litter in March 2020.

The Asian Small-clawed Otter is the smallest species of otter in the world. In the wild, they’re found in freshwater habitats like rivers and marshes around Southeast Asia.

Asian Small-clawed Otters have distinct small claws, as their name suggests, that help them handle their prey. They’re also amphibious, being equally comfortable on land and water.

They’re extremely agile hunters due to their speed, mainly feeding on crustaceans and molluscs, but are also known to take down prey twice their own size.

Otters are highly social animals and live in large family groups of up to 20 individuals. Being monogamous in nature, mated pairs can produce two litters of pups a year, which their extended family helps raise communally. They’re playful by nature and can be seen grooming themselves or interacting with each other using up to 12 distinct calls.

Asian Small-clawed Otters are classified as vulnerable in the wild mostly due to the destruction of their habitat. Swamp forests in Asia are often converted for aquaculture, which bring otters into close proximity with humans. These otters are often killed as they’re perceived as pests that eat the prawns and fish that farmers consume. Hunting for traditional medicinal purposes as well as habitat pollution also threaten the survival of these naturally inquisitive mammals.

Love otters? Join our romp and ensure otters stay a stroke ahead of extinction! There are many ways you can help support these charismatic creatures.

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

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