Family are otter-ly delighted with new enclosure at Hamerton Park Zoo

Hamerton Zoo Park new otter enclosure, with Keeper Ben McRobie

Hamerton Zoo Park new otter enclosure, with Keeper Ben McRobie - Credit: Archant

A family of otters at Hamerton Park Zoo has spent the last few weeks getting used to their new enclosure, complete with a pond, miniature waterfall and grassland.

The foursome, a group of Asian small-clawed otters, will be sharing their new home with two binturongs – or bearcats – after months of being kept out of sight of the public.

Ben McRobie, keeper, said: “It’s always fun and a new challenge each day dealing with them. They are an incredibly interesting species and incredibly friendly for the most part. They’re very cute animals.”

Although the smallest type of otter, Ben adds they are very much the biggest attention-seekers.

“Whenever I go in I wear shielding all over my legs – I have plenty of holes in my boots from them. The reason they do it is because they know I’m the source of food and they try and get as much out of me as they can by chewing my feet and getting my attention – they’re just little attention seekers.”

The otters are fed on a diet of fish and other meat like chicks and mice, while the binturongs mainly eat fruit and vegetables.

Also settling into their new surroundings are the only pair of Malayan tigers in the UK – three-year-old Sahaja and her breeding partner Cicip, six.

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Only discovered as a subspecies in 2004, the tigers are fed every two days eating 10-15kg of meat at a time.

Their new enclosure, Tiger Falls, officially opened at the end of the summer, complete with look-out windows and artwork by students at Peterborough Regional College.