Stop What You’re Doing and Look at This Adorable Picture of Adorable Otters

Then head to the National Zoo this Saturday to check them out in person.
These 11 Asian small-clawed otters are the newest members of the National Zoo family. Photograph by Clyde Nishimura.
These 11 Asian small-clawed otters are the newest members of the National Zoo family. Photograph by Clyde Nishimura.

We’re all about photos of cute
animals
–but

fuzzy friends you can actually see in person are even better.
This Saturday, in keeping with its trend of family-friendly
attractions
,
the National Zoo will
introduce its newest family–11 Asian small-clawed otters–to
yours. You can even get “ottergraphed” (their pun, not ours) drawings
of the critters for much of the morning, beginning at 10 AM.

The new residents come to us from Santa Barbara, and
since Whole Foods Market paid for their coast-to-coast transport, the
company was allowed to pick the otters’ names. Which are
(drumroll please): Chowder, Clementine, Pork Chop, Pickles, Saffron,
Olive, Peaches, Turnip, Radish, Rutabaga (our personal fave),
and . . . Kevin. Naturally.

The otters are here largely because they’re vulnerable to
extinction in their native lands (China, Indonesia, and the
Philippines),
due to habitat destruction, hunting, and pollution. Scientists
consider their health indicative of the health of their environment,
so the family has been brought to the zoo so their behavior can
be studied with conservation in mind.

The otters’ new home, the largest habitat of its kind in the country, sits on Asia Trail right near the pandas. Admission
is, as always, free.

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