Asian small-clawed otter

Vulnerable

Lise, Fuzhi, Lara and Piya are the park's otters


Scientific name : Aonyx cinerea

Where do they live?

In Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

Did you know?

A diet for every tooth
This species has a particular set of teeth. The two upper molars in the back are wider and flatter than the others. They are specialised for grinding the exoskeletons of crustaceans, molluscs or other hard-shelled prey.

The Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest of the otter species. It is diurnal and lives in rivers or wetlands. This species lives in groups of around a dozen individuals within which couples are formed. They communicate by soft cries and by smell. They mark their territory with secretions from glands located at the base of the tail and with their droppings. The female gives birth to two offspring on average, and both parents take care of the young. With its webbed toes, elongated body and waterproof coat, the Asian small-clawed otter is very comfortable in the water. It feeds on molluscs, crustaceans or frogs that it easily hunts.
The greatest threat to the Asian small-clawed otter is the destruction of its habitat. Human pressure continues to increase: tea and coffee plantations are dividing and eliminating the territories of the wild otter at an alarming rate. The otters are also hunted for the fur trade.

Height

26 to 28 cm at the withers.

Length

45 to 61 cm and a tail of 25 to 35 cm.

Weight

1 to 5 kg.

Life expectancy

11 years on average.

Gestation period

between 60 and 86 days.

Sexual maturity

Around 1.5 years.

A helpful fishing companion

In some countries, Asian small-clawed otters are sometimes bred and trained for fishing. They retrieve the fish for their master. The perfectly tamed animals live with their owners.