Exploris Aquarium have welcomed the arrival of a new Asian Small-Claw Otter pup, the first to be bred in captivity in Northern Ireland.
Sungari and Bourbon, the aquarium’s two captive-bred Asian Otters, gave birth to the currently unnamed and unsexed pup on December 15. It has been kept under wraps to protect the new born and ensure Sungari and Bourbon settle into their new family group.
Small-Claw Asian Otters (Aonyx cinerea) form monogamous partnerships with the opposite sex and, much like human beings, share parental duties.
Together they build and maintain a nest as well as feeding and attending to their young with which they form a close bond.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) officially lists the species as ‘vulnerable’ due to loss of habitat, the fur trade and pollution caused by humans.