WATCH: Otter quadruplets given short but sweet names

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Otterly cute - the new arrivals at WWT Washington have finally been named.

Though it was four months ago that the Asian short-clawed otter quadruplets were born, they’ve finally been given names to match their cheeky personalities.

Ash, Tod, Pip and Sam

Ash, Tod, Pip and Sam

After many discussions and paws for thought amongst the centre’s team, they decided on Ash, Tod, Pip and Sam for the four youngsters.

WWT Washington’s collection manager Kristian Purchase said: “We’ve had a lot of name suggestions from visitors which is great and we were extremely grateful for them. The chosen names have been toyed with for several weeks and were selected for a number of reasons.

“We needed to think about how the names sounded, if they would be too similar to each other or to our existing otters: Mimi, Musa and Ruby. This is in readiness for training, which takes place for things like feeding and health checks. Whilst our otters are very much wild animals, it’s really useful for us and far less stressful for the otters if they’re able to do things like pop on the scales on demand. To do this, they need to be able to recognise their names so that we can direct them individually.

“We now have a family of seven otters here and as visitors will know, they don’t sit still for very long - we needed names which that help us identify each animal at first glance, reflecting their personality and behaviours, as well as their physical appearance.”

Pip

Pip

Since their birth, the otters have gone from strength to strength, growing well and enthusiastically learning from Mimi, Musa and Ruby. They’re copying everything from standing on their back legs, juggling pebbles, digging and climbing.

Otter feeding time talks take place at WWT Washington daily at 11.30am and 3pm.

What makes them different from each other? Here’s a quick guide to help:
*Ash – named because of the colour of her fur, is the only female cub and is probably the most recognisable with her pale fur and pink nose. She was the smallest of the four when born but what she lacks in size she makes up for in confidence and inquisitiveness! She also entertains staff as she makes little funny, happy squeaks as she eats.

*Tod - the largest of the litter is growing to be the leader of the pack and is very independent – although he looks very similar to his brother Sam, his fur is noticeably darker which makes it a little easier to pick him out. He likes his grub and is always keen to eat first!

*Pip - a name chosen because he is now the smallest of the bunch, has pale brown fur (very much like mum Mimi) with very identifiable markings across his nose and down his cheeks – almost like he’s wearing a little mask. He is the most reserved of the group and often follows dad Musa around.

*Sam - looks a lot like Tod and is very playful. He enjoys juggling pebbles and sticks like big sister Ruby. He can often be seen running around with twigs in his mouth or paws.