Asian Small-Clawed Otters

Falling into the category of “way too cute” are the Asian Small-Clawed Otters in the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington D.C. As the smallest of otters of the 13 types of otters in the world, these Asian otters are guaranteed to charm the pants off of anyone.

When the otters came to the National Zoo in 2011, Whole Foods Market made a sizeable donation to pay for their transport. These otters are in constant motion in search for food, so it was only fitting to honor this significant donation by giving the family gastronomic-themed names.

They chose Chowder and Clementine for the Zoo’s 5-year-old father and 3-year-old mother, respectively, as well as Pork Chop (male), Pickles (female), Saffron (female), Olive (female), Peaches (female), Turnip (male) and Radish (female). The last adolescent male answers to a more traditional title: Kevin. (source:

They’re quite the active family, running back and forth, playing and chasing. An inquisitive critter, they find the simplest things for forms of entertainment. The zoo hides things in nooks and crannies to keep things interesting. A piece of wood, a little rock. It’s all a toy to an otter.


They do everything as a family unit. Swim together, eat together, play together, sleep together. It’s just one big happy family.

While visiting, it was Rock Tossing time. With little pebbles, they toss, and turn and play patty-cake. It took a bit to figure out what they were doing as it just seemed like they were playing with their hands. But then I finally saw a little rock in each of their paws.

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Aww..Rock tossing! What a fun game that is!

But it didn’t take long for the rock tossing to wear them out and it was nap time. Ah..the life of an otter.


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