Can you keep a black-tailed otter as a pet? Explanation of characteristics, ecology, and habitat Animals in aquariums and zoos


Can you keep a pet otter that is capricious and only pays attention to you when you are in a good mood? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. They are the smallest of the otter family, and live in small rivers in Africa, and many families keep them as pets, but they are actually designated as an endangered species.

What is a long-tailed otter? About basic status

The long-tailed otter is a mammal belonging to the class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Mustelidae, genus Long-tailed otter. The scientific name is Aonyx capensis. The body length is 76.2 – 88 cm, the tail length is 46.5 – 51.5 cm, the body height is 20 cm, and the weight is 11.5 – 21 kg. The information will look like this:

English(英名)Cape clawless otter
African clawless otter
scientific name(学名)Aonyx capensis
classification(分類)Mammalia、 Carnivora、Mustelidae、Aonyx
Length(体長)76.2 – 88cm
Weight(体重)11.5 – 21kg

About classification

The following subspecies exist in the genus Ceratopsium. You can also check other creatures and types on the internet pages and links. I made a list.

Scientific Name
African clawless otter
Aonyx capensisSub-Saharan Africa
Congo clawless otter
Aonyx congicusrainforest of central Africa
Asian small-clawed otter
Aonyx cinereusSouth Asia/Southeast Asia

About habitat

The long-tailed river otter is widely distributed throughout Africa. Angola, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Cameroon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Eswatini, Senegal, Tanzania, Chad, Nigeria, Namibia, Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin, Malawi, South Africa, South Sudan, Mozambique, Liberia, Rwanda, Lesotho, and others.

feature is? What kind of creature is it?

The long-tailed otter lives in freshwater areas. They mainly live alone, but form family groups consisting of pairs and 2-3 young. It got its name from its small claws. It is diurnal, but may be active at night. The back is grayish brown or light blackish brown, and the throat is white or grayish white. The long-tailed otter exhibits strong territorial behavior. Territories are marked by odor secreted by anal glands.

What is your personality like?

Black-crowned otters love to play. Since they require a lot of exercise, it is necessary to give them toys to keep them from getting bored. This animal is suitable for people who want to actively engage in physical contact with their pets, and they also have a very loud sound.

What is the ecology like?

The long-nosed river otter eats crustaceans, shellfish, insects, fish, and reptiles. The breeding pattern is viviparous, with an estrus interval of 24 to 30 days. Breeding is possible all year round. It is possible to give birth to 1 to 3 puppies at a time. Sexual maturity takes about one year, and the lifespan in captivity is 13 years.

Are there any natural enemies?

The natural enemies of the black otter are carnivores that live near water, such as crocodiles.

Is the long-tailed otter an endangered species?

Unfortunately, the Japanese otter is listed as an endangered species. Furthermore, international trade is severely restricted by the Washington Convention.

Pests destroying rice fields

As you can see by actually touching the otter, it moves very well. That’s why I love pranks so much. They are sometimes considered pests and are often exterminated by farmers. Habitat destruction due to agricultural land development and deforestation is progressing, and the population is decreasing.

hunting for fur, etc.

They are overhunted for their fur. Furthermore, the black-fronted river otter is also in high demand as a pet, so it is overhunted for this reason as well. The reality is that poaching and smuggling are rampant.

Can you keep a black-tailed otter as a pet?

It is a pet that is extremely difficult to care for. This is because it is designated as an endangered species, and international trade is strictly restricted by the Washington Convention.

What is the average cost of otters?

The average cost of otters is said to be over 1 million yen per animal when converted to Japanese yen. Consider adopting individuals already in the country or those born from such pairs from zoos or aquariums.

Things needed for breeding

What you need for breeding is a room for the otter, a toilet, toys, and food. We recommend a dog or cat cage for the toilet. Small-clawed otters love to play, so toys are a must. The main food should be cat food, and fish and crustaceans should be given as side foods. It would also be nice to have a pool.

Getting used to skinship

Black-fronted river otters have friendly personalities and love physical contact with their owners. They may bite their owners, but be careful not to pull your fingers back as this can cause injury. It has extremely well-developed jaw muscles and is said to have the strength of a large dog. Most of the time it will be a sweet bite, but please be careful.

Be careful of illness

Otters are at risk of parasites, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. In particular, there are cases where the seafood that is fed as food contains parasites. You will need to take measures such as freezing them instead of giving them in the purchased state.


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