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Otterly in love for Valentine’s

10/02/2017 in Edinburgh Zoo

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the keepers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo have been gearing up for the festivities by giving the group of otters some fun Valentine’s-themed enrichment. The five adorable otters were treated to a collection of red heart-shaped ice treats, as well as a heart-shaped float which they could use to sail around their pond.

The oriental short-clawed otters were quick to snatch up the ice treats and eat them all up before going to explore their heart raft.

RZSS Edinburgh Zoo has a range of Valentine’s activities planned for the February mid-term break from Saturday 11 to Tuesday 14 February. The Zoo provides a perfect location for a fun-filled date, with romantic film screenings of Lady and the Tramp taking place from 11 to 14 February. Couples can enjoy a stroll through the gardens, visiting over 1,000 rare and endangered animals before ending off the day with a Disney classic. Couples can have their Valentine’s Day captured forever by an on-site caricaturist, or profess their love via pebbles like the penguins do, by painting a pebble for their significant other. There will also be a flamingo-themed selfie opportunity, Valentine’s themed food and special animal talks for visitors to enjoy.

Some of the other animals at the Zoo will also be joining in on the celebrations, with their own Valentine’s themed enrichment on the 14th, so visitors will be in for a treat as they watch the animals enjoy their Valentine’s surprises.

For more information on the film screenings, please visit RZSS Edinburgh Zoo’s website at edinburghzoo.org.uk/events-calendar/

The Zoo is home to five Oriental short-clawed otters. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and can be found in the wild from India through Southeast Asia and up to the Philippines. They are the smallest otter species in the world and are known for their agile, hand-like front paws that feature the short claws that give the species its name. The Oriental short-clawed otter, or Asian short-clawed otter as it is also known, is a sociable animal, choosing to live in family groups of up to 12 individuals. The biggest threat to these otters is loss of habitat due to farming and deforestation, as well as being killed by humans who see them as pests for killing fish and prawn stocks. Polluted waterways where the otters hunt and live are also a significant threat. The species is also hunted for its pelt and organs which are often used in alternative medicines.

 

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