Wotta Lotta Otters!
Thursday 22 May 2003
New home and kits for the otters at London Zoo
London Zoo's otters have moved into their new home and following a brief period of settling in, they are now venturing out of their den to explore their new landscaped enclosure. The otters can now be seen chasing each other around the paddock, playing with pebbles as well as splashing and frolicking on their natural water slide or in one of their two pools, one of which includes underwater viewing.
Not only have the otters recently moved, but also mum, Gabrielle and dad, Sashi have added to their current brood of five with another litter of kits, 3 males and 2 females, born on March 14. The new youngsters are still very shy and have not yet been taught to swim, but they are now beginning to make short trips out of their den.
With many vistas around the enclosure, visitors will have excellent views of these playful, social animals. Should the otters be in their den areas, there are cameras inside to allow visitors the chance to see life behind the scenes and also to allow the keepers to monitor the otters at all times.
The otters' new home is part of an exciting new development called 'Happy families' which includes additional new enclosures for the meerkats and Geoffroy's marmosets. The new development is part of the ongoing renewal of this popular conservation organisation and visitor attraction.
Notes to editors
- Otters are in the same family as weasels and stoats
- Otters are found on all continents except Australia, Oriental short clawed otters can be found in many countries in Asia
- In the wild Oriental short clawed otters like to eat, molluscs, frogs and other small aquatic animals, having very sensitive front feet to detect their food underwater
- Gestation is about 63 days
- On average an otter has one or two litters per giving birth to be between one and six kits, with both parents caring for the young
- Kits are blind at birth, opening their eyes after about 35 days
- London Zoo is currently home to a family of twelve otters
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in 30 countries worldwide.
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