Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 12, 2022 12:01 am

Woodland Park Zoo Otter Pup

Sotong, a small-clawed otter pup is held during her health check at the Woodland Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo have welcomed an Asian small-clawed otter pup born on December 9th 2022. Keepers chose the name Sotong (soh-TAWNG), Malay for squid or octopus for the female pup.

This is the first otter pup to be born at Woodland Park Zoo since 2016 when they welcomed four pups. Asian small-clawed otters can produce up to six pups.

Mother Little Frei and father Conner are first time parents. Little Frei is one of the four pups born in 2016. She was paired with Conner by the Asian Small-clawed Otter Species Survival Plan. Species Survival Plans are cooperative breeding programs across accredited zoos to help ensure healthy, genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations of select species.

During this week vets at the zoo performed the pups first wellness check as part of their exemplary care program. During this she received her first vaccinations.

“We’re pleased to give Sotong a clean bill of health. She’s robust and healthy, her belly is full and round, and she’s within normal growth range at 2 months old,” said Dr. Tim Storms, Woodland Park Zoo’s interim director of animal health.

-- AD --

At present Sotong is being cared for in an off-display den by her parents. The parents may be seen periodically outside but spend much of their day inside caring for the pup.

Recently she has begun her swimming lessons. She has started off in a plastic tub and will eventually graduate in to the pool.

The pup is highly vocal with at least 12 different vocalizations. “Sotong’s high-pitched squeals and chirps ring loud and clear, an excellent sign that she’s bonding with her parents,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “She has a healthy appetite and is gaining increased mobility. While she continues to nurse, she’s now sampling solid foods such as a variety of fish.

“They’re first teaching Sotong how to swim in a plastic tub. After she masters the tub, she’ll graduate to the next level: the outdoor exhibit and large pool where she’ll be taught to dive a few inches deep while the vigilant parents stay closely by her side,” explained Ramirez.

“We’ll let mom and dad teach at their own pace and comfort level. Once Sotong can swim and safely navigate the outdoor exhibit, we should officially introduce her in early March in the zoo’s Banyan Wilds, where visitors will come to fall in love with this charismatic species.”

Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest of the thirteen otter species. They can swim easily due to the webbing between their toes.

Learn more about Otters here - Otter Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Woodland Park Zoo on their website – Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo Otter Pup

Sotong, a small-clawed otter pup is seen in her den at the Woodland Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Most Popular Animal this Week

Credit: Under License

Redbubble Store.


Edinburgh Zoo Giant Pandas Returning to China


ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Francois Langur Infant


Magellanic penguin Chick at Potter Park Zoo


We're Social. Follow Us

We share awesome animal content daily

Featured Animal


Copyright The Animal Facts 2023

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap