Monday, June 17, 2024

Fort Fisher otters to move to upgraded habitat

Leia and Quincy, the two Asian small-clawed otter parents at Fort Fisher Acquarium. (Courtesy NCAFF)

KURE BEACH — The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher will open a larger habitat for its growing Asian small-clawed otter family on Wednesday.

With the addition of three more Asian small-clawed otter pups this year, Leia and Qui ncy’s family of eight needs to upsize, according to the facility. THe new habitat, dubbed Otters on the Edge, has three pools, interactive waterspouts and comfy nesting areas. The family will make the move on World Otter Day, May 31.

Visitors will have an opportunity to do some pup watching at the new enclosure, including the new additions, Gemma, Kai and Ren, yearling sisters Stella, Mae and Selene, and their parents.

“We think every day should be World Otter Day. Visitors will be inspired as they watch these otters and their antics from so many angles and our hope is they will take action to protect them,” otter keeper Shannon Anderson said in a press release.

The Asian small-clawed otter populations are in decline. They are native to Indonesia, southern China, Southeast Asia and the Philippines and there, they face threats from residential and commercial development, deforestation, the illegal pet trade, pollution, climate change and poaching.

The World Otter Day celebration will include otter-inspired activities throughout the day, including special enrichment treats and activities for the otter family. Advance tickets to the aquarium are encouraged.

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