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Newly arrived otters ‘inseparable’ as keepers hope for ‘patter of tiny paws’

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Ernie and Carol arrived at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo two weeks ago.

Two otters at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Keepers are hoping for “the pitter patter of tiny paws” after two newly-arrived otters appeared to be developing a close bond.

Six-year-old Ernie and two-year-old Carol, two Asian short-clawed otters, arrived at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo separately two weeks ago as part of a breeding programme, and are said by staff at the park to be “inseparable”.

Two otters at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
The two otters were found by keepers ‘snuggled up’ together (ZSL Whipsnade Zoo/PA)

Team leader Graeme Williamson said: “We carefully introduced Ernie and Carol to each other in their separate crates as soon as they arrived and they clearly took an instant liking to each other – when we checked on them the following morning we found them snoozing together, snuggled up in their den.

“They’ve been very happy together ever since, so hopefully we’ll hear the pitter patter of tiny paws very soon!”

An otter at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Asian short-clawed otters are vulnerable in the wild (ZSL Whipsnade Zoo/PA)

Asian short-clawed otters are the smallest species of otter and are native to southern Asia.

They are designated as vulnerable in the wild by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

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