Mustelid Monday

So many exciting things right meow!

The first clip that I’m going to share with you comes from BBC One. You’re going to love this – it’s from an upcoming TV show that is going to feature animal spy cams! In this instance, we have Spy Otter!

So, just like what you see in the clip, scientists have built animatronic animals and they’ve put cameras inside of them to record behaviors that we’d otherwise have no idea of! These animal cameras are getting amazing footage!

While this clip is from BBC, here is what PBS says on their website, “This “Spy Otter” goes undercover to capture some of the most intimate pictures ever seen. #SpyInTheWildPBS premieres Weds, Feb 1 on Nature | PBS where robotic look-alikes infiltrate the natural world to uncover animal behavior.” It seems that we’ll be able to watch this in the US also!

Next up, BABIES!!!

Woodland Park Zoo is located in Seattle, Washington. In December, their Asian Small Clawed otters gave birth to two healthy pups and they are super stinkin adorable! This link will take you straight to a video about them and a few photos that their keepers have taken. Asian Small Clawed otters are a threatened and protected species, but their numbers are still declining. Good job to Woodland Park for aiding in conservation efforts of this species of otter.

That’s about it for today. Though, I want to give a shout out to my friends in Germany! Based on the number of visitors and the country they are from, that WordPress gives me, it seems I have a number of German readers. While my German is very rusty (nicht gut!), I would like to say ~ Hallo! Vielen Dank für mein Blog lesen! Hopefully that says hello and thank you for reading my blog 🙂

Until Whisker Wednesday, I hope your week is starting out fantastic!

Whisker Wednesday

I love Etsy. I spend more time there than I should. But, I can’t help it! Everything is just so enticing! And, I find a ton of otter stuff there. I recently found this bracelet and thought it was pretty. I don’t wear bracelets, myself. I’m more of an earrings and necklace sort of girl. But I love the colors and just thought it looked nice. And, just in case you’re wondering: no, I’m not an Etsy affiliate. I just love to shop. Anyhow, I hope someone buys this. It’s such a great feeling when you make art and someone buys it ♥

bracelet

Whisker Wednesday Presents…

5 Otter Questions With…

Amanda from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA)!

What path did you take to get your job?

I started as an marine mammal intern in the Rocky Shores area of PDZA when I was 18 years old and a freshman in college. After I completed that internship, I continued to volunteer in the area while I was in school. The next summer, I completed another marine mammal internship at the Seattle Aquarium, and continued to volunteer at PDZA. The next summer, I was offered paid hours at both facilities and worked 7 days a week. When I went back to school, I continued working at Seattle Aquarium. Once I completed my bachelor’s degree (in Psychology), I continued to work at both Seattle Aquarium and PDZA until a full time staff biologist position opened up in 2006. I applied and got the job and have been here ever since!

What is your average day like?

When it comes to the animal care field, there really is no such thing as an “average day.” But, as a general explanation…the morning is filled with first feeds and looking over all of the animals and exhibits. We work with our vet staff on a regular basis to do any necessary procedures with our critters (blood draws, physicals, eye exams, etc). So, we feed the animals, clean the exhibits and do any husbandry care that is necessary. When we are done with the first round of feeds, we start again. Sea otters have to eat a lot throughout the day, so we feed them five times a day here. In addition, we care for 9 other species of animals, so we are feeding constantly through the day. There is a lot of paperwork involved in our job as well. We have to fill out feeding records, training records, behavioral records, as well as order all of the seafood for the zoo and a variety of other paperwork.

Favorite species of otter?

I am most familiar with sea otters, and some of my favorite animals I have ever worked with have been older northern sea otters.

Favorite otter story that you would like to share?

One of my favorite memories occurred when we gave the otters some live kelp. We didn’t realize that inside the kelp, was a small live squid. We saw it swimming around the exhibit and were wondering if the sea otters would notice it. Finally, one of our sea otters, Nellie, noticed. You would have thought that, as a sea otter, she would have been very interested in eating that squid. Instead, she was scared to death of it and swam backwards as soon as she realized it was moving. She watched that squid for a good half an hour in confusion. It was very entertaining.

When talking otters, what message do you most want people to take with them?

We like to emphasize the idea of purchasing sustainable seafood to our visitors. All marine animals are affected by overfishing and poor harvesting. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a Seafood Watch list which shows people seafood that is good to purchase, not as good to purchase, and items that we should really stay away from in order to keep our oceans as healthy as possible. If everyone refers to this list before consuming seafood, it will help sustain seafood populations, which helps the oceans as a whole as well as helping seafood eating animals have access to the food they need to survive.

Thank you so much, Amanda!

I’m just so excited to be able to put this into print – so excited! I got the idea for 5 Otter Questions a few days after starting this blog. So, I got myself into gear and came up with a group of questions. I wanted my questions to have variation because not every zoo has the same species of otters. So, I started sending them out and Amanda was the first to respond. I’m hoping that I receive enough responses, in an ongoing manner, that I can post 5 Otter Questions once a month.

And with that, here’s Nellie to close out this post ~

Mustelid Monday

Sorry if you’re getting this twice. I made a scheduling mistake. I otter pay better attention, right?

Today, I’m going to feature a link to BBC Two: Raising Sancho. It’s a 45 minute documentary about Giant River otters and one woman’s challenge to raise one in a rescue scenario. With lush scenery and fantastic audio, prepare to have a front row seat to one of the rarest of otter species!

Raising Sancho

sancho

Don’t forget to tune into this week’s Whisker Wednesday, I’ve got a surprise!

Otter Fact Friday

Fact! I am over the moon with how many people have read my otter blog, how many people have subscribed to my otter blog, and all the compliments I’ve received for my otter blog. I am really in awe. So, thank you! From family, to friends, to reddit – posting and reposting has gotten me views from all over the world: Italy, Germany, China, Japan, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, and of course, the US. I’m enjoying every bit of this and I’m glad that you’re all along for the ride!

Well, it wouldn’t be a true Otterfact Friday without an otterfact, so – Fact! The Asian Small Clawed Otter is the smallest of the 13 species. It’s also my most very favorite. They range in size from about 3 pounds to 11 pounds, depending on age and sex. Most of them are about the size of your average house cat.

They’re so cute, I can’t even…

ASCO.jpg

Photo credit: Me!

Whisker Wednesday

 

Today’s post features otter Instagram accounts that I follow.

Ponchan918 is an Asian Small Clawed Otter, living in Japan, and his name is Takechiyo.

And then there is marieeasie, another Asian Small Clawed Otter. I don’t know where this one lives, but her name is Kai tun.

Two very different accounts. One is an indoor otter and one is an outdoor otter. I can’t imagine why anyone would want an indoor otter, they stink. Have you ever smelled one? lol, they are really smelly.

And then, lastly, this is an account of felted otters that I follow, Peu_de_bonheur.

Assuming you use Instagram, I hope you find these accounts as entertaining as I do!