Exploris Aquarium & Seal Sanctuary is delighted to confirm that our family of Asian Small-Claw Otter’s has had a new addition to their family. Sungari and Bourbon, our two captive-bred Asian Otters, gave birth to the currently unnamed and unsexed pup on 26 October 2017. It has been kept under wraps to protect the new born and ensure Sungari, Bourbon and big brother Bruni (born in 2016) settle into their new family group.
Small-Claw Asian Otters (Aonyx cinerea) form monogamous partnerships 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 arrival of our new pup at Exploris is particularly poignant since 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. Here at Exploris, we have had to make a few precautions to ensure a successful gestation period and had covered the small window looking into the holt, providing privacy to the family of 4. The staff vowed to keep the secret until the pup was 8 weeks old and using our codework ‘EWOK’ to talk about the pup, the staff did well to keep it under wraps.
For our visitors it is interesting to learn about some key stages of the development including the pups eyes open between 17-28 days, their canines erupt around 20 days, increased mobility 40-50 days and their full brown coat is complete by week 7. They can digest solid food and become fully weaned between 85-120 days.
The pup is growing quickly and already looks like a miniature version of his dad Bourbon. We will keep you updated via social media on its development and its gender or why not come along and visit them and learn about all our work here at Exploris.
Our other major work at the moment is within our Seal Sanctuary and having successfully released five seals before Christmas, we are currently caring for a further 13 seals and you can see them in our outdoor pools learning to socialise, compete competitively for food, and develop sufficient layers of flat to ensure their safe return to the wild in the coming weeks and months.
Follow the progress of all our work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or why not become a Member which allows you unlimited entry to our five star visitor attraction for a full year. It is affordable with prices starting at £20 for children and £30 for adults with 25% discount in our restaurant/café (excluding alcohol beverages), and in our shop. With a year long events programme and educational opportunities currently in planning, there will be lots of reasons to visit Exploris throughout 2018.
For more information on all everything that is happening at Exploris Aquarium and Seal Sanctuary, visit explorisni.com.