May 2024

Celebrating World Otter Day at New Forest Wildlife Park

27th May 2024

As #WorldOtterDay approaches on May 29th, there's no better place to celebrate these charismatic creatures than at the New Forest Wildlife Park in Hampshire. This unique park is home to an impressive four out of the thirteen otter species found worldwide, making it a true haven for otter enthusiasts.

Did you know that otters are members of the weasel family? Their long, sleek bodies are perfectly adapted for their aquatic lifestyle. In the wild, they feast on a diverse menu of fish, crabs, invertebrates, and even small mammals. Their sensitive webbed feet, whiskers, and powerful tails make them adept hunters in the water.

Otters in Southampton, Hampshire: A Rare Treat
Nestled in the heart of Hampshire, the New Forest Wildlife Park offers a rare opportunity to observe Asian short-clawed otters, Eurasian otters, smooth-coated otters, and the magnificent endangered giant river otter (including 5 month old giant otter cubs!). These playful animals are captivating to watch as they engage in their daily routines, from foraging for food to interacting with their family groups.

Meet Jason: The Otter Expert
The park's dedication to otter conservation is exemplified by Jason Palmer, who plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of Asian short-clawed otters in captivity. He meticulously manages the studbook for this species in the UK, ensuring proper breeding guidelines are followed. Jason's expertise extends beyond the UK, as he also oversees the European and Global studbooks for Asian short-clawed otters and provides valuable assistance with otter rehabilitation and rescue efforts worldwide.

Get Up Close and Personal: Keeper Experiences
For an unforgettable experience, consider one of the park's Keeper Experiences, these charismatic creatures under the guidance of our knowledgeable staff.
For an unforgettable experience, consider one of the park's Keeper Experiences, where you can get up close and personal with the giant, smooth-coated, and Asian otters. These experiences offer an unforgettable opportunity to interact with these charismatic creatures. Find out about our keeper experiences.

A Commitment to Conservation
The New Forest Wildlife Park's commitment to otter conservation goes beyond providing a home for these captivating creatures. By participating in breeding programmes and supporting rehabilitation efforts, the park plays a crucial role in ensuring their future.
So, if you're looking for a memorable way to celebrate World Otter Day and experience the wonders of these playful creatures, a visit to the New Forest Wildlife Park is a must. It's an opportunity to learn, connect with nature, and support the conservation of otters for generations to come.

Otters of the New Forest Wildlife Park:
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Asian Otter

These social otters use a repertoire of 14 different sounds to communicate. They are known for their incredible dexterity, using their short claws to search for food and even juggle objects! 

Meet the Asian Short-Clawed Otters

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Smooth-Coated Otter

These otters are highly social, living in large family groups after committing to one life partner. Their unique underwater den entrances and distinctive vocalisations ranging from pipping whistles to squeaks resembling high-pitched bird calls set them apart.

Meet the Smooth Coated Otters

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Eurasian Otter

This elusive and solitary otter is a master of stealth, perfectly adapted to its watery habitat as they can dive underwater for up to 4 minutes.

Meet the Eurasian Otters

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Giant River Otter

They are the largest of the 13 species of otter reaching up to 6ft in length. Incredibly agile swimmers, the Giant Otter can swim 330ft in less than 30 seconds. They love to eat piranha fish in the Amazon but are always very careful to eat the head first! They live in family groups of 15 to 20 otters and are the most vocal of all the otters as they keep in contact with their group by constant chatter.

Meet the Giant Otter family

Join us at the New Forest Wildlife Park this World Otter Day to learn more about these incredible animals and the vital conservation efforts they inspire. Your visit directly supports our work and helps us provide the best possible care for our otters and all the wildlife we protect.

Plan your visit today and experience the magic of otters firsthand!

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