Otter (Oriental Small-clawed)

Otters cuddling at ZSL London Zoo

What they look like

These small otters, as their name suggests, have short claws that reach no further than their digits. These allow them to use their paws to effectively feel for food, such as crustaceans, in muddy banks. Streamlined with flattened tails that they use to propel them through the water. Otters eyes are designed so that they can see equally as well in water as out.

Animal facts

This is the smallest of thirteen species of otter. Extremely dexterous, they catch their prey with their partially-webbed paws instead of with their mouth (unlike other otters).  These otters are very social and live in group sizes of up to 20, they have . Incredibly young otters do not open their eyes until they are 40 days old, taking their first swim after about nine weeks old.

What they eat

Freshwater shrimps, crabs, mussels, frogs and snails


Freshwater wetlands and mangrove swamps

Where they live

South east Asia


Water pollution, hunting, deforestation and habitat destruction

Visit our otters at ZSL London Zoo