25 Jul 2012

And staff at the conservation charity have named the duo ‘Daley’ and ‘Rebecca’ – after British Olympic medal hopefuls, diver Tom Daley and swimmer Rebecca Adlington.Keeper Hannah Sievewright said:“Our Asian short-clawed otters are one of the zoo’s most adept species in the water and so we thought it was very apt to name our new born pups after two of our best athletes from the [swimming] pool.“Hopefully the real Tom Daley and Rebecca Adlington will demonstrate similar aquatic prowess to that of our otters and grab gold at the games.”The tiny pups were checked over by the zoo’s vets who determined their sexes, weighed them and gave them a physical examination.Veterinary Officer Livia Benato added:“Just as all of the athletes going to the games in London need to be in tip-top body condition, so too should all of our animals. And we’re delighted to say that our otter pups are in great shape.“Daley weighed in at 352 grams and Rebecca was a little heavier at 380g. They both appear really healthy and so we are very, very happy with them.“As they grow and gain confidence, we’re all looking forward to seeing them splash around in the water.”The youngsters were born on May 20 and are the offspring of mum Daisy and dad Robbie.Asian short-clawed otters – the world’s smallest otter species – are classed by conservation organisations as vulnerable to extinction. The new pups will therefore eventually become part of European-wide breeding programme, providing an important safety-net to populations in the wild.ENDSFor more contact: Will Condliffe / w.condliffe@chesterzoo.org / 01244 389462