April The Giraffe may be sharing the limelight at the Animal Adventure Park in New York soon. On Saturday, the popular rural park based in Harpursville posted photographs of its newly adopted baby otters on its social media accounts that garnered thousands of likes in half a day.
“We are excited to welcome some of our first residents of the future Wilds of Asia expansion! This couple is full of squeaks and personality!” the caption of the Instagram photo reads.
“The first additions of our otter family will serve as ambassadors for their kind, in our educational programs, and their future exhibit.”
The otters are Asian small-clawed otters, which the park notes is a vulnerable species. They belong to the smallest species out of the 13 existing species globally. The park added that small-clawed otters communicate with each other by making high-pitched squeaks.
Animal Adventure Park fans are ecstatic about the new additions to the park’s growing exhibit of animals. One commenter exclaimed, “Oh my heavens, they are adorable. How do y’all get any work done around there?” She then suggests that the park staff should build a pool like the one the wildlife park in her town has. There, they are allowed to swim with otters.
Former and would-be visitors of Animal Adventure Park are also thankful about the awareness the zoo has raised about endangered animals, apart from offering them a chance to interact with these otters. “Keep up the great work,” a fan concludes her comment, as can be seen below.
Apart from April the Giraffe’s new calf, which is going to be named tomorrow, the park also added young camels to its family of animals. Just a few days ago, the park also posted snaps of its Bactrian camels, Kara and Gobi. According to the park, the two were named after Asian deserts, Karakum and Gobi, and could withstand harsh environments. They don’t have too anymore though, at the park, where they will be showered with a lot of TLC.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN), the small-clawed otter (scientific name: Amblonyx cinereus) is classified as a vulnerable species, suffering a great decline in population in a span of 60 years. Endemic to India, southern China, Taiwan, and Palawan island in the Philippines, it mostly lives in tropical rainforests, grasslands, wetlands and coastal areas.
Habitat loss and exploitation are identified as the main culprits as to why Asian small-clawed otters almost hit near extinction in 2004. Small-clawed otters are often hunted for use as food, construction or structural materials, and apparel and accessories, according to the IUCN.
To prevent the species from further deteriorating in numbers, the Asian small-clawed otter has been listed on the CITES Appendix II since 1977. This means that while it is not “necessarily threatened with extinction,” its hunting should be regulated. The IUCN is also promoting the creation of new protected areas that are home to the small-clawed otter, and the implementation of additional measures to control the poaching of the animals.
Aren’t the Asian small-clawed otters above so cute? If pictures are not enough, why not take a road trip to Animal Adventure Park? The park is located at 85 Martin Hill Road, Harpursville, NY 13787. It also offers accommodations for those coming from out of town.
Animal Adventure Park has a wide range of animals on show for visitors, so there’s always something for everyone. They have regal animals like mountain lions, arctic wolves, wildebeest, and funny-looking ones like alpacas, llamas, and black and white Capuchin monkeys.
The park is yet to announce whether their fans would catch the otters sometime on their live YouTube feed, as only April the Giraffe has a live webcam. But who knows? Maybe the otters will have a cameo on the park’s YouTube or Facebook Live streams. Fans of the park who can’t drop by would surely love it.
[Featured Image by Animal Adventure Park/Facebook]