Otterly adorable: National Zoo welcomes its first pups

Dominic Giannini 9 November 2020 15
Otter pups

Otter pup at the National Zoo. Photos: Supplied.

The National Zoo and Aquarium has welcomed the birth of three Asian small-clawed otter pups, the world’s smallest otter.

The three pups – Josey, Chester and Basil – are the first to be born at the National Zoo, despite the zoo housing otters for nearly two decades.

“We are exceptionally excited,” wildlife and grounds manager Bec Scott said.

“This is an exceptionally important birth. The otters are a part of a regional breeding program so for us to be able to contribute back into the program is great.

The National Zoo otter pups

Otters are threatened by habitat destruction in the wild.

“In the wild otters are considered a vulnerable species, they are threatened with things like habitat destruction. These guys are found in waterways and rivers and things like pollution and agricultural development are really causing issues for their survival.

“We will certainly take the opportunity while visitors are coming to see the new otter pups to educate them about the fight for their survival in the wild.”


READ ALSO: Birthday weekend at the Zoo for Hummer the giraffe and Mbali the meerkat


The four-month-old otters have just learnt to swim and forage for food in their enclosure by mum, Pai, and dad, Bal. Otter pups spend the first six weeks in a nest with their eyes shut before their parents begin teaching them how to swim.

And it’s not just a learning curve for the infant otters either.

Otter pups are the first to be born at the National Zoo

The otter pups are the first to be born at the National Zoo. Photo: Supplied.

“Being a first-time parent can be a little bit tricky. Like a first time parent for humans, you have got to learn the skills and things that you need to raise your offspring,” Bec said.

Otters can have between one and six pups at a time.


READ ALSO: National Zoo welcomes its newest member


“As part of the regional breeding program there is a bigger picture and we are a part of that but at the moment we are just enjoying the otter pups that we have and you never know, in the future we might be able to have some more,” Bec said.

The birth and naming of the baby otters follow the birth of baby Namadgi, the first koala to be born at the National Zoo, earlier this year

For visiting hours and prices, visit The National Zoo & Aquarium.


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15 Responses to Otterly adorable: National Zoo welcomes its first pups
Alex Sendall Alex Sendall 8:54 pm 10 Nov 20

Ben Miller ZOO TRIP

Tristan Jennings Tristan Jennings 4:00 pm 10 Nov 20

Anthony I’m excited and I’m not ashamed to admit it

    Anthony Radik Anthony Radik 4:30 pm 10 Nov 20

    Tristan Jennings this is the greatest news in the history of everything.

    Tristan Jennings Tristan Jennings 4:36 pm 10 Nov 20

    Anthony Radik honestly life has just been building up to this

Ema Johnston Ema Johnston 11:22 am 10 Nov 20

Rich Howson looks like the breeding program worked

Jessica Pemberton Jessica Pemberton 9:03 am 10 Nov 20

Melissa Cook we gotta get the crew back together.

Therese Clark Therese Clark 7:06 am 10 Nov 20

Timothy Clark a zoo picnic?

Gabrielle Kuta Gabrielle Kuta 6:36 am 10 Nov 20

Craig Adamanother thing to see here

Sam Sumner Sam Sumner 12:12 am 10 Nov 20

David Petersen Otter pups!!!!

    Sam Sumner Sam Sumner 2:42 pm 10 Nov 20

    David what is this "might" word? OTTER PUPS = definitely, must, will 😍

    David Petersen David Petersen 2:46 pm 10 Nov 20

    Sam Sumner did I say 'might??? Silly me. I otter be horse whipped for that faux pas! 😆😆😆

Racheal Green Racheal Green 10:33 pm 09 Nov 20

The babies are just absolutely gorgeous. Miniatures if their parents

Kay Jay Kay Jay 10:17 pm 09 Nov 20

Chanel Myah-Jane they’re back 😍

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