There's always a new story to tell at Colchester Zoo, from welcoming new arrivals, to exciting things to see and discover.

Our Smooth coated otter pups go exploring!

in Animals
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On the 15th April our keepers heard noises coming from a small den made underground at Otter Creek by our Smooth coated otters, a sign that Chea, our breeding female may have given birth.

A few weeks on and our keepers saw the first sighting of not one but a litter of pups who have now begun to venture outside with mum!

For the first few weeks after birth Chea’s pups would have been cared for round the clock in the den whilst they built up their strength to venture out into their new home. Now that they are strong enough, they are spending most of their time above ground with the rest of the family and have begun learning how to swim with help from mum, Chea and dad, Kong Kea.

The pup’s parents, Kong Kea and Chea, joined Colchester Zoo in October 2010 from the Rare Species Conservation Centre (RSCC) in Kent. Kong Kea (which means “Big Water” in Cambodian) was born in May 2006 at a Rescue centre in Cambodia and Chea (which means “to be well and healthy” in Cambodian) was also born in 2006 and was rescued from wildlife traders in Cambodia.

The pair have been extremely successful in breeding over the years and currently share their home with 3 of their other offspring.

On your next visit, stop by Otter Creek and see if you can catch a glimpse of our adorable new arrivals! 

Smooth coated otters are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list. One of the major threats to the survival of the smooth-coated otter is the loss of suitable habitat. The breeding success at Colchester Zoo helps to ensure a healthy captive population aiding the continued existence of this species.

Find out how you could adopt one of our Smooth Coated Otters here.


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