Otter-tunity Knocks at the National Zoo

An otter family (yes, this already sounds like a children's book) will make its debut at the National Zoo this Saturday, May 12.

10 photos
1/10
National Zoo
An otter family (yes, this already sounds like a children's book) will make its debut at the National Zoo this Saturday, May 12.
2/10
National Zoo
The family of two parents and nine kiddos came from the Santa Barbara Zoo in early April. They now live in the National Zoo's otter exhibit, which was designed to house a large, multi-generational family. Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest and the most social species of otter.
3/10
National Zoo
The otters' sweet new digs include elements of a riverbed habitat, including a waterfall, stream, rock formations and logs.
4/10
Says the Zoo: "Zoo visitors can expect to see Chowder and Clementine teach their offspring -- born in August 2010 and May 2011 -- to swim, play, forage for food and nest materials and catch fish."
5/10
National Zoo
And yes, most of the otters have food-themed names. Whole Foods Market donated the funds to transport the otters from Santa Barbara, so the zoo invited the company to name most of the animals. In addition to parents Chowder and Clementine, the zoo has Pork Chop, Pickles, Saffron, Olive, Peaches, Rutabaga, Turnip and Radish... oh, and Kevin. Really.
6/10
National Zoo
Kevin's name was selected by a Facebook poll, in case you were wondering.
7/10
National Zoo
The otters did face a tragedy recently, though. Thirteen otters had made the trek from California, but two died April 19. Officials believe they died from ingesting dye used on their fur for identification purposes.
8/10
National Zoo
The zoo had used the dye for more than 30 years, but cleaned it from the other animals to be safe.
9/10
National Zoo
The otters have been in quarantine from the public since their arrival, but you'll be able to see them on the Asia Trail starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12. At 11 a.m., otter care-takers will hold a Meet-a-Keeper session.
10/10
National Zoo
Says the Zoo: "Visitors can expect to see the Zoo’s otters engaging in a variety of natural behaviors in their exhibit, such as swimming, foraging for bugs and nesting materials, catching fish, playing, and basking in the sun."
Contact Us