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The three males and one female who were born last December 26 are now spending their mornings hanging out in the stream beneath the trees, along with mom Jordan and dad Chun Lee. They chase the live minnows and crickets the keepers provide for food and fun, work on their swimming style, and will eventually be introduced to the white-cheeked gibbon family that shares the exhibit.

Behind the scenes, the otters build a nest of hay in a large wooden box in an off-exhibit area. All family members participate in the process. After giving birth, the male will bring food to the female while she is in the nest. The silver gray-colored cubs are born approximately 4 to 5 inches long. At about three weeks old, the four siblings began to open their eyes, but the grace period was short-lived. At about six weeks, Jordan was overseeing frequent swimming lessons, dropping each cub in the water for a few moments, then pulling it back out. Just 10 days later, the cubs had the technique down.
otters
Behind the scenes, the otters build a nest of hay in a large wooden box in an off-exhibit area. All family members participate in the process. After giving birth, the male will bring food to the female while she is in the nest. The silver gray-colored cubs are born approximately 4 to 5 inches long. At about three weeks old, the four siblings began to open their eyes, but the grace period was short-lived. At about six weeks, Jordan was overseeing frequent swimming lessons, dropping each cub in the water for a few moments, then pulling it back out. Just 10 days later, the cubs had the technique down.

Otters are the only truly amphibious members of the weasel family. They have a streamlined physique designed for vigorous swimming. Their tightly-packed underfur and long guard hairs are water repellent. To facilitate swimming, otters also close their nostrils and ears when underwater. Small-clawed otters are the smallest of the world’s 13 otter species.

Asian small-clawed otter cubs wrestle off-exhibit.
Asian small-clawed otters live in shallow creeks, rivers, estuaries, and coastal waters and are found from Palawan (Philippines) through Indonesia, Southeast Asia, southern China, and westwards through the Himalayan foothills of Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. Over the years, several factors, including pollution, habitat destruction, hunting, and trapping, have resulted in the decline of several otter species, including small-clawed otters. The species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and is listed as near threatened by IUCN—World Conservation Union. Asian small-clawed otters in North American zoos are part of a Species Survival Program (SSP). An SSP is a carefully managed breeding and field conservation program for species. SSPs use the most up-to-date, scientific, and technological resources available to aid threatened and endangered species. Currently—with the four swimming and squirming new arrivals—there are 106 small-clawed otters at 21 North American zoos.

Asian small-clawed otters live in shallow creeks, rivers, estuaries, and coastal waters and are found from Palawan (Philippines) through Indonesia, Southeast Asia, southern China, and westwards through the Himalayan foothills of Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. Over the years, several factors, including pollution, habitat destruction, hunting, and trapping, have resulted in the decline of several otter species, including small-clawed otters. The species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and is listed as near threatened by IUCN—World Conservation Union. Asian small-clawed otters in North American zoos are part of a Species Survival Program (SSP). An SSP is a carefully managed breeding and field conservation program for species. SSPs use the most up-to-date, scientific, and technological resources available to aid threatened and endangered species. Currently—with the four swimming and squirming new arrivals—there are 106 small-clawed otters at 21 North American zoos.


All four otter cubs huddle together off-exhibit.
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Furry Films
Otters are curious! They explore every nook and cranny of their exhibit every time they go out---like the Asian small-clawed otter family in this Windows Media clip.

Behind the scenes, it does not take much to keep the pups entertained. Sometimes it just takes a stick and some other otters to roll around with:Are you friends swimming in gifts?
Give them something they otter love---purchase a Share the Care package online and help the zoo care for the Asian small-clawed otters. Get a personalized certificate, photo of one of the zoo's penguins, and more---just for showing you care.




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Like No OTTER Babies!
Asian Small-Clawed Otter Cubs Swim Into Tropic World


Visitors to Brookfield Zoo now have an “otter” good reason to stop by the Asia section in Tropic World: four Asian small-clawed otter cubs can be seen swimming and exploring their home with their parents!