Three adorable nine-week-old Small-clawed Otters pups have aced their first health check at Adelaide Zoo this morning – on World Otter Day! A day that aims to raise awareness of the plight of otters.
The three otter pups underwent the check-up by Adelaide Zoo’s dedicated veterinary team not far from home at their behind-the-scenes den.
The check revealed the pups each weigh just over 400g.
An adult otter of this species generally weighs around 3kg, but can weigh up to 5kg, so these pups have a bit of growing to do!
During the first health check, the new pups were microchipped, vaccinated, sexed and given a full physical examination.
Zoos SA Veterinarian Jenny McLelland said the little otters, two boys and a girl, were given a clean bill of health.
“We had a good look at their eyes, ears, mouth, teeth and checked their heart, and then we checked their weight and also gave them a vaccination and microchipped them so we can identify them,” said Jenny.
“I’m very happy to reveal that we have two little boys and one little girl. They’re in excellent health and great condition. They’re bright and well.
“To make sure both parents and pups weren’t too uncomfortable during the check, we aimed to be as fast as we could and immediately got them back together,” finished Jenny.
After the check, the three pups quickly returned to their den to be with their parents.
“Today is World Otter Day. A really important day to note as this vulnerable species is decreasing in the wild,” said keeper Jade Koek.
“The otter pups are pretty shy, so visitors will need to be patient. They should start coming out of their den soon, having swimming lessons with their mum, dad, brother and sister,” finished Jade.
Born in March, the three pups mark an important contribution to the breeding program working to save their vulnerable species which is threatened with extinction in the wild.
Adelaide Zoo is proud to have bred more than 70 otters since the breeding program began.
An appeal to the public to help name the three otter pups is planned soon.