We have some otterly exciting news to share – three new Asian Small-clawed Otter pups have been born at Adelaide Zoo!
The trio were born on Tuesday, March 24 and were found sleeping in their den by delighted keepers.
These pups are the second litter for mum Kalaya and dad Bao since the arrival of their first two pups in March last year.
Adelaide Zoo keeper Matt Golebiowski said the parents are doing brilliantly and are certainly more relaxed this time around.
“We kept a careful watch on Kalaya and the pups last year as these guys were first-time parents,” says Matt.
“This year is very different! Kalaya and Bao have experience now and are incredibly relaxed and caring parents.
“We’ve been monitoring them from afar to let the new family have some bonding time but from what we can see, the otters are tending to their pups’ every need.”
Like other mammals, Asian Small-clawed Otters are born with their eyes closed and rely heavily on their parents for everything during their first few weeks of life.
It will be at least a month yet until the pups have their first health check where vets will make sure they are healthy, growing well and will also determine their sex.
Around that time they’ll be old enough to make their debut and join brother Rama and sister Mali in the larger otter habitat.
“In Asian Small-clawed Otter groups, it’s common for all members of the family group help to care for the young so Rama and Mali will definitely assist with babysitting duties,” says Matt.
Asian Small-clawed Otters are classified as vulnerable in the wild mostly due to the destruction of their habitats.
Swamp forests in Asia are often converted for aquaculture, bringing otters into close proximity with humans.
Perceived as pests, these otters are killed as they eat the prawns and fish that farmers consume.
These new pups mark the second litter born at Adelaide Zoo since 2003.
Adelaide Zoo is proud to have bred more than 70 otters since its inception as part of the breeding program working to safeguard the species.
While Adelaide Zoo is closed to the public, people will be able to hear more about the super sweet pups through our Facebook and Instagram pages.