A quintet of baby otters picked up a new skill this weekend.
According to a release from the Chester Zoo, their five Asian short-clawed otter pups took their first trip outside this weekend, led by their devoted mom Annie and dad Wallace.
Part of the field trip was getting the pack of pups used to water. All of baby otters, who each weigh just over a pound, dipped their tiny toes in the otter pool, splashed around and got their first swimming lesson from their parents.
“Seeing the pups taking their first steps outside and dipping their paws into the water is wonderful. The pups are gaining confidence all the time and it’s great to see each of their little personalities starting to shine through. Annie and Wallace are experienced parents so, with some gentle encouragement, the pups will soon be gliding through the water in no time. For the time being though, until their waterproof coats are fully developed, they’re just dipping their toes in and getting used to being close to water,” Hannah Owens, assistant team manager at Chester Zoo, said in a statement.
The little swimmers did not fully submerge their bodies in the water during the lesson, since all of the pups are still sporting their baby fur — which isn’t waterproof like the adult coats they will grow in the near future.
“Asian short-clawed otters have evolved to be great swimmers. They have webbed feet, develop thick fur coats which are densely packed and water repellent, boast a powerful rudder-like tail that propels them through the water and they can close their ears and nostrils while swimming – they are the ultimate aquatic animals!” Owens added.
Along with their adult coats, these tiny otters, born in November, are also missing names. The English zoo the otters call home is asking the public to drop by, meet the quintet of cuties, and come up with names for the 3 girls and 2 boys.
Asian short-clawed otters are the world’s smallest otter species. In the wild, they are threatened by habitat loss and hunting