Spotted-necked Otter Pups on Exhibit

Posted May 21st, 2014 by Andi Norman  Category: Arts & Entertainment


A pair of twin spotted-necked otter pups – both males — are now on exhibit at the Toledo Zoo with their parents and older sister.

The pups were born in January and have spent the winter with their parents in heated off-exhibit quarters. Nationwide, only eight zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) exhibit spotted-necked otters. This is only the second litter of spotted-necked otters in the last five years among participating zoos; the first litter was also born at the Toledo Zoo (in 2012).

Spotted-necked otters are a relatively new species for the Toledo Zoo. The pups’ parents arrived in late spring, 2012, for the opening of Tembo Trail.

In Africa, spotted-necked otters live in clean, unsilted freshwater habitats where prey (fish) is abundant; they rarely venture more than 30 feet from the water’s edge. While their webbed paws make land travel look awkward, they are some of the strongest swimmers in the otter species.

African spotted-necked otters are common or fairly common in ideal habitat, but their populations are declining. Their biggest threat is loss of habitat through increased agricultural activity, as well as contamination of the waterways they depend upon for survival.

Come visit the new otter family at the Toledo Zoo, where charming animal ambassadors like these are just one reason the Toledo Zoo is rated second among the nation’s zoos, and eighth among overall family attractions, by FamilyFun Magazine.

Mark your calendar for a return visit May 23-25, when Penguin Beach, ‘Keet Retreat sponsored by BP, and Flamingo Key sponsored by Toledo Express Airport, all open! The Opening Weekend celebrations are sponsored by Kroger.

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