Welcoming the arrival of a new baby otter
Exploris Aquarium are delighted to announce the exciting arrival of a new Asian Small-Claw Otter pup, the first to be bred in captivity in Northern Ireland. Sungari and Bourbon, our two captive-bred Asian Otters, gave birth to the currently unnamed and unsexed pup on 15th December 2016 and it has been kept under wraps to protect the new born and ensure Sungari and Bourbon settle into their new family group.
Small-Claw Asian Otters (Aonyx cinerea) form monogamous partnerships with the opposite sex and, much like human beings, share parental duties. Together they build and maintain a nest as well as feeding and attending to their young with which they form a close bond.
The arrival of the new pup at Exploris is particularly poignant since the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) officially lists the species as 'vulnerable' due to loss of habitat, the fur trade and pollution caused by humans.
Victoria McCready, Head of Animal Welfare and Husbandry says, "Their rarity means that we have had to make a few precautions to ensure a successful gestation period - approximately 68-74 days - which has included minimising noise and visitor traffic surrounding the otter enclosure. As the pup gains more confidence he or she will be more visible here at Exploris in the comings days and weeks".