Edinburgh Zoo otters enjoy Halloween pumpkin treat

Edinburgh Zoo's Asiatic short-clawed otters explore their pumpkin treats. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA
Edinburgh Zoo's Asiatic short-clawed otters explore their pumpkin treats. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA
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EDINBURGH Zoo’s Asiatic short-clawed otters were given a Halloween treat this week - a number of pumpkins.

The smallest otter species in the world, Asiatic short-clawed otters are known for their agile front paws, featuring the short claws giving them their name.

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The paws allow the otters to catch and utilise many different types of prey including crab, snails, molluscs and small fish, although from time to time they may even prey on small rodents and snakes.

Edinburgh Zoo welcomed male otter Ray in September 2009 from Longleat Safari Park in Warminster, and female Elena from Southampton’s New Forest Wildlife Park in February the following year.

Elena has given birth to five litters since, the most recent coming in June 2014.

Numbers of Asiatic short-clawed otters are decreasing in the wild due to many threats, primarily habitat loss and destruction due to farming, as well as water contamination.

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