Asian Short-Clawed Otter

Latin name Aonyx cinerea
Class Mammals
Order Carnivora
Family Mustelidae
IUCN Status Vulnerable
Habitat Fresh water wetland and mangrove swamps
Distribution Indonesia, S India, S China, SE Asia and the Philippines

General Information

These otters, also known as Oriental Small-clawed Otters are the smallest species of otter in the world. Otters are mustelids, which is the same family as weasels. They are diurnal and in the wild they eat a variety of fish, crabs, invertebrates, reptiles, birds and small mammals. They use their sensitive webbed feet to find food under rocks on the river bed, their whiskers to detect prey in the water and their strong rudder-like tail to help them swim. They have 2 types of fur – one acts as a waterproof coat, the other a thermal layer to keep them warm.

Threats: habitat destruction, pollution and hunting.

Lifespan: up to 15 years in captivity

Fun Fact

This species of otter uses special calls to communicate with each other. They make up to 12 different sounds.

Keeper Notes

Our pair of otters, Little John and Robin enjoy playing and swimming in their pond. However, they are creatures of routine – a little lunch, a swim then back to bed for a nap!