Just a Bunch of Happy Otters Losing It Over a Bamboo Branch

Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Sydney, Australia, calls itself home to a family of Asian small-clawed otters. Loss of habitat due to human encroachment and illegal logging, plus poachers illegally hunting them for fur, has threatened the species. Taronga supports projects throughout Asia to protect otters and other critters, and they also spoil the family of otters in their zoo. A recent video of animal enrichment shows the otters absolutely going wild over… a bamboo branch. That’s all it takes. Watch:

We first saw this delightful video at Boing Boing. I can’t get over how the otters practically swarm the branch. They play tug of war and seem to be trying to tear off leaves. The Taronga Zoo says the mama otter, named Jafar, wanted to try to snag bamboo material for nesting material. It’s the younger otters that went all in on playing with the branch. Keeper Tarryn Williams introduced the whole family of six in a video from last year: Jafar, Harry (the dad), and their four babies (one male and three females). The zoo chose Jafar to be the matriarch after seeing how much she doted on her younger sibling. They knew she’d make a good mom and continue to expand the vulnerable population.

Bunch of otters playing with a bamboo branch

Taronga Zoo

This video is just the latest peek at this family of Asian small-clawed otters being precious. The zoo shared another enrichment video in April 2020 that show the otters trying to pry leaves from a metal ball. They’re quite persistent in trying to identify if they can crack the puzzle.

And let’s not forget when a baby otter joined the group. We just want to snuggle this little one.

Awww! Otterly perfect.

Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and the author of A Kid’s Guide to Fandom, available for pre-order now. Follow her on  Twitter and Instagram.

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