Recently rescued oriental small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinereus), Dotty and Lucky have been moved to enclosures close to each other so they can see, hear and smell one an other. We hope that these two rescued victims of the illegal pet trade will be become friends. Animal introductions take time, most of the animals we rescue have spent most of their lives without any interaction with other conspecifics so meeting new friends is a new experience. Otters are highly social animals so we hope that these two young ones will soon be living together. We will keep you posted on any progress.
See Lucky’s story at https://www.wfft.org/wildlife-general/infant-otter-arrives-at-wfft-wildlife-hospital/ ).
Oriental small-clawed otters are currently listed as Vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Throughout Asia the main threat to their survival is habitat destruction due to changing land use pattern in the form of developmental activities. In many parts of Asia, the habitats have been reduced due to reclamation of peat swamp forests and mangroves, aquaculture activities along the intertidal wetlands and loss of hill streams. Another important threat to Asian Small-clawed Otter is reduction in prey biomass due to over-exploitation, which make its remaining habitats unsustainable. Pollution is probably the single most important factor, causing decline in the population of many fish species. The threat posed by poaching, for the fur trade and pet trade, is still very significant in many parts of South Eat Asia and will certainly count as a major threat that needs to be constantly monitored. Sadly, an increase in keeping these animals as pets has been seen throughout Thailand. We are hearing reports of otter ‘farms’ where many are being specifically bred for the pet trade.