Otters return to Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Say hello to Sam and Tilly, a pair of Asian small-clawed otters who have just moved into Slimbridge Wetland Centre.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
Asian small-clawed otters, Sam and Tilly, have moved into the Otter Pool at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre. © Amy Alsop

Award-winning Gloucestershire attraction WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre is growing its family of wetland wildlife this summer, with two exciting new arrivals.

A pair of Asian small-clawed otters named Sam and Tilly have moved into the Otter Pool exhibit — and visitors can now see them in their new home.

The pair, who arrived at the wetland centre from New Forest Wildlife Park on Thursday 27 July 2023, have been settling into their revamped exhibit which features a brand-new otter holt, complete with a living roof.

Slimbridge's Living Collections Team reports that the otters, aged seven and eight, are settling in really well and have already been busy making the place feel like home, collecting natural materials from their outdoor area to build their nest.

Visitors can spot them swimming in their pool, as air bubbles escape from their waterproof coats when they disappear beneath the surface, and can tell them apart by their whiskers; Tilly's are longer than Sam's, and she's also a little larger and slightly darker in colour. 

In the wild, Asian small-clawed otters have sadly lost their homes due to human activity and pollution — so by welcoming Tilly and Sam to the wetland centre, Slimbridge is playing an important part in their conservation as a vulnerable species.

There are also plans to reintroduce Otter Talks at Slimbridge Wetland Centre in the coming weeks, when the otters are more settled in their new home.

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