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Otter pups at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are excited by the birth of two male Oriental Small-clawed Otter pups, born on 24 January 2014.

One of the Otter pups has been named Kali, meaning river in Indonesian, by his keepers while the Zoo is seeking name suggestions from the public via its facebook for the other pup.

This is the first offspring for mother, Emiko and father, Pocket with both parents displaying ideal nurturing behaviours.

“The pups have been in the den to date and we have been monitoring them via a video camera, to ensure they are growing and developing well,” said Senior Keeper, Ian Anderson.

“Emiko and Pocket are being really attentive parents, we are really happy with their nurturing behaviours, as they are both first-time parents so it is a big learning curve for them.”

Both Emiko and Pocket have only popped out on exhibit briefly during this time as they are mainly in the den caring for their pups. The male Otter is very paws-on with parenting, helping the female build the nest before birth and helping provide food and care for the pups after birth.

“This breeding success is a huge breakthrough for the staff here at the Zoo, as we have been trying to breed Otters for the past 10 years,” said Ian.

“We had tried a number of different pairings during this time but finally got the right match with Emiko and Pocket.”

The Otter pups are currently on display sporadically when the parents take them out for swimming lessons and to explore the exhibit. Over the coming weeks they will start to venture out into the exhibit with their parents more often.

“A great time to see this new family at the Zoo will be at the daily Otter Talk and Feed at 12:55pm,” said Ian.

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