Juggling otters at a Black Country tourist attraction are causing quite a stir with their antics.
The playful creatures at Dudley Zoological Gardens have been keeping visitors entertained by juggling with pebbles or ball-shaped pieces of carrot as they show off their dexterity.
And their cute displays frequently turn up on internet video sites, posted by amused visitors who marvel at their skills.
The 13 Asiatic short-clawed otters are not trained to put on an act – but the juggling is good practice for handling slippery customers, in the shape of the fish they like to eat. Their tiny claws are smaller than those of other otters and enhance their manual dexterity in dealing with their prey.
They are semi-aquatic mammals and their zoo enclosure includes a pool.
Zoo spokesman Jill Hitchman said: “The otters lie on their backs when they are in a juggling mood and pick up little pebbles, which they put on their tummies and roll around.
“They then juggle the pebbles from paw to paw.”