Otter-ly Adorable Babies
Gender Reveal Party for Otter-ly Adorable Zoo Babies
Not one, not two, but four beautiful baby otters have been born at Drusillas Park in Alfriston. The Asian short-clawed otter babies were born a little over a month ago but have been seen venturing out of their nest box for the first time and taking a good look at the world outside.
The otter pups were born in October and have spent all of their time in the nest box, closely guarded by mum, Halloumi Bee and dad, Cheddar.
Unlike many species of otter, Asian short-clawed otters are very social and like to live in large family groups. They are monogamous, staying with the same partner throughout their life. Cheddar and Halloumi Bee fell in love the minute they laid eyes on each other and have been inseparable ever since Zookeepers paired them up earlier in the year.
The quadruplets are the first babies born to Cheddar and Halloumi Bee and the little family is going from strength to strength. Mum and dad can be seen leading the bevy whilst tiny paws pitter patter behind them.
Zookeeper Billie Aslett said: “Now the babies are out and about, we have been able to sex them. As this is the first time we’ve had baby otters in years and Cheddar and Halloumi Bee are new parents, we wanted to do something special to announce the babies’ gender.”
“We threw our otters a gender reveal party which they loved! They came right up to the glass of their enclosure to inspect the four coloured balloons that floated out of gender reveal box. We are super excited to announce that we have two boys and two girls!”
Short clawed otters give birth after a gestation period of 60 days. They can have up to six babies at a time and they are all born with white fur and closed eyes. The young remain in the den for the first few weeks and both parents will participate in their care.
Zookeeper Billie Aslett said: “I work with these otters every day and it’s wonderful to see how well Cheddar and Halloumi Bee are adapting to being parents. They all make such a perfect family, and everyone just melts when they seem them running around.”
“Asian short clawed otters are the smallest of the world’s thirteen different otter species, measuring just 65cm from head to tail when fully grown. As their name suggests, they are native to Asia, where populations are declining due to hunting, habitat destruction and water pollution. Sadly, they are now considered a vulnerable species in the wild."
“They are such a wonderful species and seeing how lovely the babies are is definitely a reminder to everyone to protect them in the wild. If we don’t look after our animals and our environment, we won’t see sights like this very often in the future.”