I braved the icy winds earlier this morning armed with my camera to make the most of the soft winter sunlight. The objective was to share a few Otter moments with you! When it’s this cold (-4 degrees C overnight with a wind chill factor of many degrees lower) it’s quite challenging for the Keepers to ensure all the animals have access to un-iced water! After the Otters’ drinking water was broken up this morning they not only enjoyed a drink but made a game of the experience by breaking off off lumps of ice and playing with them! Asian Short-Clawed Otters have very dexterous front paws that closely resemble tiny hands. In the wild they use these to forage for food in shallow water – mainly molluscs and crustaceans. In captivity they are often seen playing with stones – holding a small round pebble between their front paws, tucking it under their arm and running around with it, then rolling it across their tummies whilst lying upside down on the grass – a real test of skill when seen through human eyes, but an obvious source of relaxation and enjoyment for our Otters!
Jules Brittan - G.M. Seaview Wildlife