March 24, 2015
Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium is devoting a week to the amazing world of the otter from May 23rd – 31st.
The event is a triple celebration as it also coincides with their otters Ralph, Patty and Selma’s birthdays. As well as a chance to watch their energetic antics, staff have also put together a fun selection of otter-related activities aimed at raising awareness of the various threats facing otters worldwide.
Visitors will be able to learn about the world’s different otters – including native Eurasian otters – along with the resident Asian short clawed otter family and other exotic species. In addition to talks, feeding demonstrations and information about otters visitors will also be able to find out more about otter populations worldwide and the conservation work being done by organisations like the International Otter Survival Fund to help protect them.
There will also be an ‘otterly brilliant’ quiz for visitors to take part in.
“This event is designed to be a fun way to discover more about the secret lives of these graceful and enchanting aquatic mammals and the dangers they and other members of the otter family face both in the UK and worldwide,” said Blue Reef’s Adam Makinson.
“This is a really good time to come and see the otters. They’re particularly active at the moment; swimming, climbing and foraging for food,” he added.
As their name suggests Asian short clawed otters are found throughout southern Asia including India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. They are highly social and extremely intelligent mammals. In Southeast Asia fishermen have trained them to drive schools of fish into their nets. The otters are put on a harness and allowed to keep any fish they catch.
On May 27th, which is also Otter Awareness Day, the aquarium will be visiting Southsea Library for two special interactive workshops aimed at children. These will take place at 11am-midday and 3pm-4pm.