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Wildlife Wednesday: Otter Pup-Date from the Tree of Life

Dr. Mark Penning

by , Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

We are otter-ly excited to announce that the otter triplets at the Tree of Life in Disney’s Animal Kingdom now have names! The playful pups are Asian small-clawed otters which are the smallest of all otters, and the least aquatic. They spend most of their time on land, but when in the water, they can hold their breath for six to eight minutes. If you have visited the otters at their habitat you may have noticed they each have very unique personalities that have contributed to their names.

Otter Pup-Date from the Tree of Life

Raakshas is a Hindi word meaning monster. This young male’s favorite pastimes include exploring his enrichment and food with his mouth (unlike his siblings who use their paws) and pouncing on his brother and sister. In the video below you can see him playing and pouncing with his dad, Luke.

Pintar is Indonesian for smart or clever. The second male was the first one to discover that if he moved away from his siblings he could catch more fish with less competition. The Care team expects great things from this smart boy.

Pitakee Pyaaree (or Pitakee for short) is Hindi for daddy’s girl. Like her father, she was the least enthusiastic about learning to swim. Luke would pull the pups out of the water while Nitnoy (mom) was teaching them to swim. Once she was big enough, Pitakee followed her father¹s example by attempting to pull her brothers out of the water when they were swimming. She also solicits food from her father often, and he willingly obliges (which is a big deal for him).

Asian small-clawed otters are vulnerable in the wild due to habitat loss. Many of the wetland areas they call home are in decline because of a lack of water. One way we can help is by reducing our water usage with actions like turning off the faucet while using the sink to wash hands, brush teeth, and wash dishes and also reporting any leaking faucets or broken sprinkles that you may see. Making sure our local rivers and lakes are clean and healthy is another way to help protect natural habitats. Visit the otter habitat located on the left side of the Tree of Life to meet the family and continue on to the Discovery Island Trails to see more Disney animals.

Comments

  • My son says, “They have fluffy mustaches.” So cute!

  • Where in AK are these otters living?

    • Hi Debbie! The otters live near the Tree of Life. If you’re walking around the park, they are across from the Pizzafari restaurant.

  • So cute! I love when you post videos of the animals. Really makes me miss AK.

  • I was kind of hoping for some good ol’ fashioned Disney throwbacks like Peanut, Butter and Jelly Otter! Oodelay-O!

  • Oh… Thanks for sharing this video. I can feel the ambiance of the park just by seeing it. May be I just miss the Animal Kingdom too much…

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