1. ITV Report

Baby otters begin ‘swimming lessons’ at Chester Zoo

Five baby otters, each weighing just 500 grams, have been given their first ‘swimming lessons’ at Chester Zoo.

And keepers are asking the public to help name them!

The quintet have stayed snuggled up in their den with parents since birth, but now the bunch finally developed the confidence to venture outside for the very time.

Led by mum Annie, the unnamed pups – three girls and two boys – began to dip their tiny toes in their pool and splashed around the water’s edge.

Seeing the pups taking their first steps outside and dipping their paws into the water is wonderful.

The pups are gaining confidence all the time and it’s great to see each of their little personalities starting to shine through.

Annie and Wallace are experienced parents so, with some gentle encouragement, the pups will soon be gliding through the water in no time.

For the time being though, until their waterproof coats are fully developed, they’re just dipping their toes in and getting used to being close to water.

– Hannah Owens, Assistant Team Manager , Chester Zoo
Credit: Chester Zoo

Otter experts at the zoo say the pups all still sport their baby fur which is not yet fully waterproofed, but the new arrivals will soon build up the courage to fully submerge themselves in water. Asian short-clawed otters are the world’s smallest species of otter, and the new born pups currently weigh around just 500 grams.

Credit: Chester Zoo