Live to Play: An Otter Day.

The Small-clawed Asian Otters at Sydney Zoo love nothing more than lying on their backs, juggling smooth, slippery, wet pebbles from hand to hand via their mouth and chest.

Researchers seem to agree that Otters perform these rock and pebble juggles more when they are hungry – are they perhaps honing their dexterity for mealtime tasks like manipulating slippery fish, or picking crab meat from the shell? The ultimate meaning of this behaviour remains a mystery – but is nevertheless fun to watch!

First – choose a pebble from your stack of favourites:


Significant Otter.

At Sydney Zoo, Bramanda hung around the Otter enclosure for hours! As Ferret lovers, we have an abiding soft spot for the entire Mustelidae family (ferrets, weasels, stoats, martens, minks, badgers, otters, wolverines etc). It’s interesting and entertaining to see the behaviours we witness every day in our ferrets reflected in other genii and species. We sometimes call Otters “Aqua-ferrets”!

Sydney Zoo is home to a pair of Asian Small-clawed Otters (Aonyx cinereus):

The Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest otter species in the world. In head-to-body length, it ranges from 470 to 610 mm (18.4 to 24 in) with a 260 to 350 mm (10.2 to 13.6 in) long tail.

Like a lot of zoo animals, the otters know the drill when it’s feeding time.

Like all otters, this pair moved seamlessly between land and water as though the two environments were one.

Captive (and possibly wild) pairs are monogamous. These two seemed like a lovely couple:

The Asian Small-clawed Otter is distributed from Southern India, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

They are listed as Vulnerable, and threats include not only poaching for its fur, and habitat destruction, but also – sadly and preventably – the illegal pet trade.

We love Otters!