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A pair of young otter brothers from Liverpool have taken up new residence in the New Forest.
Ottawa and Kodiak, named after Canadian and North American rivers, arrived at New Forest Wildlife Park near Ashurst at the end of November.
The pair, both North American river otters, were moved because their old enclosure became unsuitable for their needs.
They're being kept in a separate enclosure from two other North American river otters at the park– Jasper and Hudson, who were born at there ten years ago.
Male river otters in the wild are often found in pairs, and can live in groups of up to 17 at a time. They can thrive in river, lake, swamp, or estuary ecosystems and remains active in winter, using ice holes to surface and breathe. North American river otters are not currently on the list of threatened species, but their range has been greatly reduced by habitat loss and they are also very sensitive to environmental pollution.
Animal manager Jason Palmer said the brothers have settled in remarkably quickly.
“They have come from the Blue Planet Aquarium near Liverpool, where they could no longer be housed in the enclosure they were in because it had become unsuitable for their needs.
“They are about five years old and are very much a pair - they do everything together. Ottawa and Kodiak have settled in very quickly. Ten minutes after they arrived they were swimming and eating and exploring their large new outdoor enclosure. They looked very pleased with it.
“It’s too early to say what their individual characters are like, but they seem a little cheeky, and I’m sure they are going to be happy at NFWP. All the keepers love them already. We are really happy that we have been able to give them a good stable home.”