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A family favourite returns to NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo - Otters

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PUBLISHED: 3 MAR 2022

A family favourite returns to NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo - Otters

They’re back!

Otters have returned to New Plymouth District Council (NPDC)’s Brooklands Zoo after a break of more than two years.

Five small-clawed otters have arrived from Dubbo Zoo, Australia to make a new home in New Plymouth. The female siblings are all aged one or two years old.

“Getting otters back into the zoo has been a long time in planning and we’re thrilled to get not only young animals but a sizeable group of siblings,” says NPDC Zoo Coordinator Eve Cozzi.

“Otters are hugely popular among our visitors and we’re frequently asked if we’re ever getting more of them – really, they’re the superstars of all our animals. I’m so happy that we can now say they’re here.”

Katara, Rani, Suki, Luna and Akira have been off-display at Brooklands Zoo for a week as part of MPI requirements, but are now in their new home between the capuchin and cotton-top tamarin monkeys.

Small-clawed otters are the smallest members of the otter family. They are highly social animals and communicate with each other by noise and scent.

The otters are found in Indonesia, Southern China, Southern India, the Philippines and Southeast Asia, but their population in the wild is threatened by habitat destruction, hunting and pollution. Otters are classified as a vulnerable species.

Fast facts:

  • NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo has been a children’s favourite and a New Plymouth icon since it opened in 1965.
  • About 113,000 people visit Brooklands Zoo each year.
  • The zoo is home to 30 native and exotic species.
  • Otters first went on display at the zoo in 1983.
  • NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo is involved with conservation efforts for species such as the cotton-top tamarin, which are critically endangered in the wild.


Caption: The new otters are making themselves at home at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo