A SET of rare silver otters were born in a zoo.

The triplets were born at the end of July at the Drusillas animal park, near Alfriston, mum Halloumi-Bee and dad Cheddar.

Zookeepers say they are “surprised” to see that each of the puppies had silvery, frosty fur, which is said to have been inherited from their father.

Baby otters in Drusillas

Jacinta Dawe, who works closely with otters, said Asian short-clawed otters typically have brown upper bodies and pale breasts and faces.

She said: “We were all very surprised to see the color of the puppy’s fur, as the last litter was born with the standard colorings and markings.

“We’re always excited about babies here at the zoo, but when we know they’re really unique and have rare traits like this, even the keepers will sneak up and try to take pictures.”

The puppy’s parents already have four children – Brie, Feta, Edam and Leicester – but the new arrivals are the only ones who have inherited their father’s silver fur.

Jacinta said: “Cheddar is a very important member of the species for us, not only for its magnificent silver gene, but it also still carries wild genes from its ancestors.

“He and Halloumi-Bee do a great job of being parents again, but with seven kids it’s no surprise that sometimes we catch them sneaking around trying to have some time alone.”

Newborns are said to be “doing very well” and can even now be spotted by visitors.

Jacinta said: “We recently health checked and sexed the puppies and are delighted to report that we have two beautiful daughters and a beautiful son, and all of them are in excellent health and making great progress.

“They are now able to take a few steps away from their parents and will soon begin to fully open their eyes.”

The new additions bring the number of Drusillas for baby otters to seven.

A spokeswoman said the birth was “good news” for species threatened by habitat loss and exploitation in the pet trade.

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Source: www.theargus.co.uk
This notice was published: 2021-08-31 16:00:00

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