Asian small-clawed otter

Asian small-clawed otter

Aonyx cinereus

IUCN status
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Asian small-clawed otter

« The Asian otter is a formidable freshwater predator and a skilful hunter! »

The least aquatic of the otters

Small and agile!

The Asian small-clawed otter is also called the dwarf otter in French because it is the smallest otter species. It lives mainly in coastal areas or in the shallows of rivers from southern India and China to Malaysia and Indonesia. It can be found in swamp forests, rice fields, lakes, or streams. Its feet are only partially webbed, providing it with better dexterity than its cousins, especially on land. In the water, the Asian small-clawed otter propels and steers itself with its long tail, which functions like a precision rudder.

Asian small-clawed otter

The Beauval Nature association

For the past 10 years, the Beauval Nature association has joined forces with field workers to support them in their primary mission of species conservation. Beauval works closely with numerous conservation and research programmes around the world to study and protect endangered species. This everyday action takes place in order to protect our biodiversity.

Asian small-clawed otter

Suri, the mischievous mother otter

Suri loves to play! 
She constantly whirls around, playing with the other members of her group! 

Although she has an explosive temper, she is an excellent mother who has had many litters and has looked after each with the utmost care.

Asian small-clawed otter
Asian small-clawed otter
Asian small-clawed otter
Asian small-clawed otter
Beauval Nature

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Learn more about the species

  • Diet
  • Gestation period
    2 months
  • Litter size
    1 to 6 young
  • Habitat

Communication is central to the group

For otters, as is the case for all animals living in groups, communication is essential for the organisation of their social life. This may consist of odours marking out their territory, the grooming of group members, or a whole series of body postures. But the otter mostly uses its voice to make itself understood. This small mustelid has been found to make at least 12 vocalisations, not including alarm calls. And you? How many vocalisations will you hear when you see them at the ZooParc?

A close-knit otter family!

Male and female Asian small-clawed otters form monogamous pairs and can reproduce every year. After fertilisation, the development of the embryo can be suspended temporarily! This phenomenon, called embryonic diapause, allows the young to be born during the time of the year when food resources are abundant. Once diapause is over, the gestation period lasts about 60 days, then the mother gives birth to a litter of 1 to 6 adorable baby otters.

What does an otter eat?

The Asian otter is a formidable freshwater predator and a skilful hunter! Its nimble fingers allow it to search watery depths such as the seabed or rocks for its prey: insects, rodents, small fish, crabs, and shellfish. To open these shellfish, the otter can use its extremely strong teeth. But it can also make use of another much more relaxing method; leaving the shell to heat up in the sun which forces it to open!

Where can I see them in the park?

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Other species in the territory

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