Otterly Adorable!

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we thought it would be a good time to spotlight Tilgate’s cutest couple – Kasem and Keshika the Asian short-clawed otters.

 

'Please, sir, can we have some...more?' Kasem (left) and Keshika (right) impatiently await their dinner!
‘Please, sir, can we have some…more?’ Kasem (left) and Keshika (right) impatiently await their dinner!

Asian short-clawed otters are monogamous animals, meaning once they find the perfect partner they’re together for life. For Kasem and Keshika it was love at first sight. Kasem arrived at Tilgate on 5th February 2013. Just nine days later, on Valentine’s Day, he was introduced to the beautiful Keshika and the rest is history! There’s no guarantee that animals will get along when they are put together, but lucky for us Kasem and Keshika got on like a house on fire! They were soon playing and snuggling like they’d known each other all their lives, and last summer there was something else to celebrate when Keshika gave birth to four adorable pups!

 

The pups at just a couple of days old
The pups at just a few days old.

 

There are two male and two female pups. Kasem and Keshika are wonderful parents and have recently taught the pups to swim! With the pups growing up fast the otter enclosure is now being extended so they have plenty of room to play. Otters are incredibly intelligent animals and are one of the only non-primate mammals that still plays when it reaches adulthood. They are such fantastic hunters and will eat almost anything, meaning they don’t have to worry too much about finding food so there’s plenty of leisure time! Our otters enjoy playing with footballs and feed balls, and diving into the pond to look for treats! They also enjoy juggling with pebbles, tossing them around and rolling them on the floor of their enclosure.

 

Mum, Dad and the little ones relaxing at home!
Mum, Dad and the little ones relaxing at home!

 

Asian short-clawed otters are considered a vulnerable species with their numbers steadily decreasing in the wild. Kasem and Keshika are part of an international breeding programme to increase the population of these entertaining animals, and with their four pups they’re a great success story!

So, if you’re looking for something to do this Valentine’s Day, why not come down to Tilgate and visit the otters? They had their first date here at Tilgate on Valentine’s Day, and look how well that turned out!!

 

An otter success!
An otter success!
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