- Scientific Name:
- Aonyx cinereus
- Park Location:
- Children’s Planet
- South East Asian countries- India, China, Malaysia and Indonesia
- Ponds and lakes, rivers and streams, estuaries, freshwater and mangrove swamps
- Out of the 13 species of otters in the world, the Asian short clawed otter is the smallest, reaching less than a metre in length when fully grown
- Otters form a monogamous bond and pair for life
Native to South East Asian countries, such as India, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, these animals are found in habitats where there is water and land, and thus have a varied omnivorous diet.
They are very social animals and live in family groups of around a dozen individuals. A range of vocalisations are used to communicate with each other, and they each have a role to play in their social structures. Otters are monogamous and whilst the female will remain the more dominant of the two, the bond between the alphas is strong and without this bond they would not be able to breed successfully. The alpha pair are the only ones that breed within the group, and the youngsters help out with looking after their younger siblings.
The alpha female can have up to two litters a year and have 6 pups in each litter. When the pups are first born, they are deaf and blind and so need their mother around the clock. The father of the pups takes good care of his female partner, bringing her food and being responsible for the cleanliness of the den.