Otterly delightful

Rod and Musa the new Asian Short clawed otters at Washington Wetland centre.
Rod and Musa the new Asian Short clawed otters at Washington Wetland centre.
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WHAT an otter fun some new residents are having at Washington Wetland Centre.

Brothers Rod and Musa are going down a treat as the latest additions to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s (WWT) family.

The cheeky antics of the pair proved a winner with visitors who attended the unveiling of the new otter’s holt.

The Asian short-clawed duo are already entertaining the crowds, after settling into their new purpose-built enclosure.

Visitors can watch them go for a swim, play in their sand pit, roll around in the mud or perform their trademark trick of juggling pebbles.

Wardens will be dishing up fresh fish supplied by Sainsbury’s at daily commentated feeds.

Leanne McCormella, WWT Washington’s marketing manager, said: “The arrival of Rod and Musa has created a real buzz among our staff, volunteers, visitors and members and we’re very excited to welcome them into our family.

“They are a great example of how WWT is becoming more diverse in the types of wetland species that it is helping to conserve and protect.”

The 18-month-old siblings, who communicate through at least 12 different calls, were born to parents Ned and Thai at the WWT centre in Martin Mere, Lancashire, in October 2009.

Both have very different personalities, with Rod standing out as a bossy boots, while Musa is more reserved.

The brothers will live together until they are old enough to try their paws at dating.

Jane Ayre, 29, who is on university placement at the centre, said: “It’s good to see other animals instead of just birds. It’ll encourage a lot more people to come and experience the facilities here.”

Dorothy Anfield, 74, has only visited twice before, but plans to come a lot more now the otters are here. She said “It’s marvellous to see them, they’re such beautiful creatures.”

Kathleen Hill, 66, and Jimmy Hill, 69, also plan to become regular visitors. They said: “It’ll add another element to the centre. Kids will love them. It’s very open so you can really see the otters.”

But Rod and Musa are not the only otters in Washington.

A wild European otter and her two cubs have been spotted sunbathing on an old upturned fishing boat in the River Wear, close to the Wetland Centre.

Twitter: @janethejourno