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Woodland Park Zoo - Press Release


January 17, 2013


Zoo welcomes world’s smallest otter species to debut in May 


Gigi Allianic, Caileigh Robertson
206.548.2550 |

The zoo welcomes the world’s smallest otter species in anticipation of the new Asian tropical forest exhibit complex. The Asian small-clawed otters will debut in May, along with a new kid’s nature play area and tropical aviary. 



A male Asian small-clawed otter has arrived at Woodland Park Zoo in anticipation of the new Asian tropical forest exhibit complex, which he and a female otter will call home this spring.

As part of routine quarantine protocol, the otter will undergo an examination and weigh-in by zoo veterinarian staff before transitioning to the new exhibit. The press are invited to observe the exam at the zoo’s veterinary hospital.

Following the exam, the otter will remain in a temporary, off-view exhibit until phase one of the Asian tropical forest exhibit complex opens to the public in May.

The 7-year-old male, who will later be accompanied by a 3-year-old female, are the first of their kind to live at Woodland Park Zoo. The male arrived in early January from Zoo Atlanta, and the female will be arriving from Bronx Zoo before the end of the month.

Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest otter species in the world. And unlike the zoo’s river otters of the award-winning Northern Trail, small-clawed otters spend more time on land. Habitat loss presents otters the gravest threat. In their native habitats of southern and southeastern Asia, otters face deforestation, drainage of wetlands and growth of plantations that drastically reduce their suitable habitat. Once common, Asian small-clawed otters are locally extinct in Hong Kong, Singapore and India’s Sunderbans and East Calcutta.

Woodland Park Zoo’s Asian Tropical forest exhibit complex will use innovative, hands-on education techniques to spread awareness of these conservation issues and encourage visitors to help save the wild animals and habitats we all love. 


Tuesday, January 22, 10:00-10:30 a.m.


Woodland Park Zoo’s Animal Health Complex. Enter through the South Entrance parking lot at N. 50th St. & Fremont Ave. N. Drive straight through the road that winds north of the Rose Garden. It is the first building on the left.


Winter admission: Adult (13-64) $12.75; Child (3-12) $8.75; Toddler (0-2) Free. Active, retired, and veteran U.S. military and their families, seniors and people with physical disabilities receive an admission discount. Zoo members receive free zoo admission year-round. Parking: $5.25.  

For more information about the new Asian tropical forest exhibit complex, visit  For more information about the zoo, visit


Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit


Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.