Tasmania Zoo has saved an otter that was made homeless when Cairns Tropical Zoo announced it was closing its doors.
The elderly otter, named Curly, will now retire with two new friends, Omar and Ollie, in northern Tasmania. They arrived at Tasmania Zoo on Thursday night, and were released into their enclosure yesterday morning.
Omar and Ollie came from Gorge Wildlife Park in South Australia.
They are the first otters to enter the state, which meant the zoo had to quickly build a new enclosure and complete a species risk assessment before they arrived.
“Otters are very social animals, which is why we needed to introduce friends for Curly,” zookeeper Emma Morgan said.
“They are very vocal, very active and very social. Already they’ve been coming up to the glass to say hello to people.
“They go to the toilet together and follow each other around.”
The three otters are all quite old at 13 and 15, with the species generally living to a maximum of 15 to 18 years.
“This is a bit of a retirement bachelor pad,” Ms Morgan said.
Otters are aquatic animals and can hold their breath for up to five minutes.
“Their main diet is fish, including crayfish and shellfish, as well as small animals, and their habitat is water and land, like the enclosure.”
The three bachelors were settling in well yesterday, exploring the enclosure and checking out the local visitors.
People can visit the otters at Tasmania Zoo at Riverside.