Giant river otter pup born in Asia

A rare giant river otter, native to South America, was born at Wildlife Reserves Singapore in August.
Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Oct. 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM   |   Comments

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Oct. 8 (UPI) -- It's a boy at Wildlife Reserves Singapore!

The park announced last week the birth of a rare -- and extremely adorable -- giant river otter pup, born August 10 at the Singapore River Safari, the first of his species born in Asia.

The as yet unnamed pup weighs 3.5 pounds and measures 23 inches long, but he'll eventually grow to nearly 6 feet long, weighing up to 75 pounds.

Giant river otters are native to South America, and are the largest of the world's 13 otter species. And don't be deceived by his sweet look, giant otters hunt piranhas, anacondas and caimans, are are so ferocious they have earned the nickname "river wolves."

Still, thanks to hunting for fur and the threat of habitat loss, giant otters are extremely rare in the wild.

“With increasing threats such as habitat destruction and poaching, captive breeding programs play a pivotal role in conserving threatened species for our future generations,” said Dr. Cheng Wen-Huar, chief life sciences officer at Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Since he was born, the pup has been bonding with his mom in their den. In a few weeks, the pup will be allowed into the River Safari's Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit, where his parents will teach him how to swim and do other adorable otter things.

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