FORT FISHER, N.C.  With the addition of three more Asian small-clawed otter pups this year, Leia and Quincy’s family of eight needs new digs at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher (NCAFF). Complete with three pools, interactive waterspouts and comfy nesting areas, the larger habitat in Otters on the Edge, will be their new romping ground. The family will make the move on World Otter Day, May 31, 2023.

Visitors will have an opportunity to do some pup watching—including the new additions, Gemma, Kai and Ren, yearling sisters Stella, Mae and Selene, and their parents.

“We think every day should be World Otter Day. Visitors will be inspired as they watch these otters and their antics from so many angles and our hope is they will take action to protect them,” said Shannon Anderson, otter keeper, NCAFF.  

The World Otter Day celebration will include otter-inspired activities throughout the day including special enrichment treats and activities for the otter family.

More to the Story

These attention-grabbing pups are also the face of a vulnerable species—Asian small-clawed otter populations are in decline. They are native to Indonesia, southern China, Southeast Asia and the Philippines and there, they face threats from residential and commercial development, deforestation, the illegal pet trade, pollution, climate change and poaching. Read more At About Asian small-clawed otters.

What can you do?

While one person can’t do everything, everyone can do something—individual actions in your community can protect local species and they can create a ripple effect that can lead to protections for species across the globe

  • Buy bird-friendly coffee—it’s produced under a shade cover that provides important habitat for different species, preventing deforestation and destruction of homes for animals like Asian small-clawed otters.
  • Don’t ever support illegally traded wild animals as pets.
  • Think before you buy furs.

Advanced Tickets Required

This continues to be a busy time at the Aquarium and the possibility of seeing baby otters may increase interest.

  • For an enhanced visitor experience, advanced online tickets are required at the Aquarium, by visiting NCAFF Admissions.
  • Sellouts happen, especially during holidays.

Keep Up with the Pups

Follow their journey on Facebook and Instagram using #OtterPupsNCAFF.

About the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher  

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is just south of Kure Beach, a short drive from Wilmington, on U.S. 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission: $12.95 ages 13-61; $10.95 children ages 3-12; $11.95 seniors (62 and older) and military with valid identification; EBT card holders: $3. Free admission for children 2 and younger and N.C. Aquarium Society members and N.C. Zoo members.