Cute Feisty Little Asian Small Clawed Otter

The otterly adorable Asian small-clawed otter - born at Denver Zoo on August 26 - is set to meet the public as he gets ready to be unveiled. . . Male Jilin (Jee-Lin) has been under the care of mother, Asha, and father, Bugsy. Guests can soon visit the family in the El Pomar Foundation Village Hall in Toyota Elephant Passage as the pup begins to get comfortable with his exhibit. Viewing of the pup may be limited for the next few weeks as zookeepers give the young pup the choice to stay behind the scenes or venture onto public view, but keepers expect him to be out during Zoo Lights. Asha came to Denver Zoo from Smithsonian's Zoo National in 2012. Bugsy, who arrived here in 2013, is from Zoo Atlanta. Both were born in 2005. Bugsy, who comes from a large family, is known for his caring personality. Both Asha and Bugsy have proved to be great first-time and very hands-on parents. The name Jilin, which is also a Chinese province formerly known as Kirin, pays homage to one of Denver Zoo's other Asian small-clawed otters, Barry Kirin. Keepers say the pup has a playful spirit. He enjoys playing with clam shells and plastic balls, hiding from mom and dad and learning to swim. Keepers say he is becoming more playful and brave as he grows older. Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest of all 13 species of otter. They grow to about two and a half to three feet long from head to tail and weigh six to 12 pounds. Their long, slender bodies are covered with dark grey or brown fur and their faces and throats are usually cream coloured. As their name suggests, they have short claws that do not extend past the fleshy pads of their partly webbed toes. This makes their forepaws very agile. The otters forage with their sensitive paws to locate prey in murky water or mud. They also have stiff whiskers called "vibrissae" that can detect the movement of prey in the water. Once they find prey, they catch it with their paws, not with their mouths like other otters. Like all otters, - Denver, Colorado, United States - Friday 28th November 2014 (3 Pictures)


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