Asian short-clawed otter facts
What otters will I see at London Zoo?
The species is also known as Asian small-clawed otters or oriental small-clawed otters.
What do Asian short-clawed otters look like?
These otters are the smallest of thirteen species of otter. These small otters, as their name suggests, have short claws that reach no further than their digits. These allow them to use their paws to effectively feel for food, such as crustaceans, in muddy banks. Extremely dexterous, Asian short-clawed otters catch their prey with their partially-webbed paws instead of with their mouth (unlike other otters).
The otters are also streamlined with flattened tails that they use to propel them through the water. Otters' eyes are designed so that they can see equally as well in water as out.
Incredibly, young otters do not open their eyes until they are 40 days old, taking their first swim after about nine weeks old.
What do Asian short-clawed otters eat?
You will often see these otters eating freshwater shrimps, crabs, mussels, frogs and snails.
What threats do Asian short-clawed otters face in the wild?
Asian short-clawed otters are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list. They are under threat from water pollution, hunting, deforestation and habitat destruction.