Otters at Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium will be going on a special Easter egg hunt this weekend (March 25th – 28th).
Keepers at the award-winning wildlife attraction are hiding a number of coloured ‘Easter Eggs’ which the otters will have to retrieve during lunchtime feeds throughout the Bank Holiday Weekend.
The eggs – which have been coloured using food dye – will provide the aquatic mammals with a chance to demonstrate their foraging skills.
Blue Reef’s Hannah Butt said: “Asian short claw otters love eggs and will often supplement their diet in the wild by raiding the nests of birds so we didn’t think our Easter egg hunt would prove too challenging when we tried it out this week.
“However we did ask the keepers to hide the eggs as well as they possibly could and I believe our female otter Selma was by far the best at tracking them down – in the end she apparently found five out of the six eggs!” she added.
In addition to being a tasty and nutritious meal the eggs will also provide environmental enrichment for the aquatic mammals as they play, juggle and even swim with them.
As their name suggests Asian short claw otters are found throughout southern Asia including India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Unlike most otters, their front feet are only partly webbed and have short claws used for digging under rocks and in the mud.
These special adaptations make them particularly dexterous and you will often see them ‘juggling’ or playing with rocks and pebbles.
They are highly social and intelligent mammals with a wide vocabulary. Scientists have identified up to 12 different calls.