Dartmoor Zoo – ‘Otterly Inseparable’ Pair Welcome Four New Pups

Dartmoor Zoo – ‘Otterly Inseparable’ Pair Welcome Four New Pups

Conservation charity, Dartmoor Zoo, has welcomed four healthy otter pups to its community. The zoo is now calling on local businesses to come forward and sponsor a pup to help name the babies and contribute towards the new enclosure which will accommodate the otter family.

Parents Jasmin and Matty, Dartmoor Zoo’s resident Asian small-clawed otters, welcomed the four baby otters in October 2019 and have since been spending precious time bonding as a new family. The vets confirmed that all four otters, three male and one female, are all happy and at a healthy weight.

dartmoor zoo otter pup bowl

New mum Jasmin was born at Tamar Otter Sanctuary and arrived at Dartmoor Zoo in June 2017. She was joined by Matty from Newquay zoo in early 2019. As a monogamous pair, their relationship has flourished over the past six months and they are now widely recognised as the cutest couple at the zoo. Before parenthood, they spent most of their time playing with the pebbles they loved. In fact, they both have a favourite pebble that they will keep for the rest of their lives. 

Asian small-clawed otters are found in Southern India, Southern China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and the Philippines in the wild. Mostly found in rivers, small streams, marshes, mangroves, rice paddies and coastlines, many otters suffer the consequences of pollution causing a decline in fish species, which is their key source of food. In the last 30 years, pollution has caused this particular breed of otters to decline by 30%, with them now being considered vulnerable on the ICUCN red list*.

Coral Jonas, deputy CEO, commented:

“We are delighted to announce the arrival of four healthy baby otters to our community. It’s been wonderful watching Jasmin and Matty grow as parents and settle in at Dartmoor Zoo as a family of six. The pair have become inseparable over the last six months, so it was no surprise when they started building a love nest and not coming out for their feeding time, even though we know they love eating and seeing members of the public! The weeks went by and as Jasmine got plumper, the keepers kept a close eye on the new couple, anticipating the pups’ arrival. It wasn’t too long before we started to hear tiny squeaks coming from the otter house. We couldn’t be happier! Here at Dartmoor Zoo our priority is to educate and inspire the general public about wildlife conservation and improve captive animal management by providing a safe environment for animals under threat in the wild. This is particularly prominent in this case as we’ve successfully bred four Asian small-clawed otters despite their vulnerability in the wild.”

Local businesses can sponsor one of Dartmoor Zoo’s baby otters, which will include picking their name. Sponsoring an otter provides worthy funds to build the otter family a brand-new home by their pond and making sure their enclosure is suitable for the four new arrivals and parents, Jasmin and Matty.

If you would like to sponsor an otter, please contact Julie Cater: Julie.cater@dartmoorzoo.co.uk, 01752837645.

Two businesses have already come forward to sponsor an otter each. Both Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants and Otter Brewery have come forward to donate and support the young Dartmoor Zoo otter Family. The Otter Brewery have named their baby otter Tarka, after their legendary premium lager. Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants will also be naming an otter in the upcoming weeks.

dartmoor zoo otter pup

All four otter pups will start coming out of their nest in the next two weeks, just in time for the Christmas holidays. Dartmoor Zoo has also been fortunate to welcome two new species of animal residents, which they will be announcing in the upcoming week. Throughout the festive period, Dartmoor Zoo will be hosting a range of fun-filled events and activities for all the family to enjoy, you can find more information here https://www.dartmoorzoo.org.uk/christmas-at-the-zoo/

Dartmoor Zoo was established in 2007 when Benjamin Mee and his family bought an ailing zoo. Since then, Ben, his family and team have built the Zoo into the popular tourist attraction it is today. Ben wrote a book about his experience and in 2011 it was made into the Hollywood Film ‘We Bought a Zoo’ starring Matt Damon. In 2014 Ben Mee kindly donated the zoo to the Dartmoor Zoological Society charity. Today the Zoo is heavily involved in research, conservation and education projects to promote the welfare of animals and to enrich both the lives of humans and animals.

To find out more about Dartmoor Zoo visit www.dartmoorzoo.org.uk.

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