Otters’ Crabby Birthday Treat
Monday 2nd April 2012

 This March our Asian Small-clawed Otters got an unusual treat of blue swimmer crabs!

All of four of our otters have March birthdays, so for a special afternoon snack, each otter received a crab.

Initially they weren’t so sure of the crabs, which had been picked up specially from the Sydney Fish markets by one of the otters’ keepers, Lisa. They checked out the crabs, had a bit of a sniff, and then went for a swim before returning to crunch the crabs’ legs first, before gobbling up the rest of this unusual snack.

We have three male otters: Arnie born in 1996 and siblings, Houdini and Soa, born in 2001. Houdini showed himself to be a bit of an escape artist at the old otter exhibit, hence keepers decided to call him after Harry Houdini. Our female, Bising, born in 2000, is the smallest otter in the group.

Otters have a hierarchy structure similar to Meerkats with only an alpha pair breeding. The group look out for each other help to raise the offspring. Otters mate for life and usually produce two litters a year.

In the wild Asian Small-clawed Otters live up to 10 years, but in human care they can live up to 20 years. So Arnie, Houdini, Soa and Bising can look forward to plenty more crab meals here at Taronga!

Taronga’s Asian Small-clawed Otters are proudly sponsored by LANXESS.

By Fiona Millist, Digital Intern