Rare Otter Gets Danish Girlfriend After Her Arrival in Switzerland

The adorable video shows a pair of Eurasian otters exploring their new life together after they instantly hit it off when the female was introduced to a Swiss zoo.

The footage depicted the two animals cuddling and going in for a dip after the female named Cleo arrived at the Zurich Zoo, Switzerland, earlier this month.

Cleo, who came to Switzerland from the AQUA Aquarium & Wildlife Park in Silkeborg, Denmark, immediately bonded with her new boyfriend, Tom, after she spotted him upon her arrival.

Zurich Zoo said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “With the arrival of Cleo, the female otter, the successful breeding of the endangered European otter at Zurich Zoo can now continue.

Zurich Zoo, Nicole Schnyder/Newsflash

“The natural population in Switzerland is still small and there is no stable population.

“By breeding otters in zoos, we are prepared should it become necessary in the future to reinforce the natural repopulation of the otter population in Switzerland by releasing them into the wild.”

The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), whose diet consists mainly of fish and is strongly territorial, is considered ‘Near Threatened’ on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Its population declined across its range in the second half of the 20th century primarily due to pollution from polychlorinated biphenyls and pesticides such as organochlorine.

Other threats included habitat loss and hunting, both legal and illegal.

Switzerland had an estimated 150 remaining otters in 1952, prompting the species’ protection.

Image shows Tom, one of the two otters, undated photo. The animals were brought to Zurich Zoo, Switzerland in June 2024. (Zurich Zoo, Enzo Franchini/Newsflash)

Historically, otters were viewed as pests and competitors, especially by fisheries, leading to intensive hunting.

Their habitat was also reduced due to waterway engineering. The last otter sighting in Switzerland was in 1989, after which the species was considered extinct in the country.

Zurich Zoo said: “In the meantime, individual animals have migrated back to Switzerland via various rivers and since 2009 there has been repeated evidence of their presence.

“This can be found primarily in Ticino, on the Aare, Hinterrhein, Rhone and Inn.

“In order to promote the return of the otter to Switzerland, the Pro Lutra Foundation was founded in 1997 together with and at the Zurich Zoo.

“This foundation monitors and documents the otter population in Switzerland, informs and sensitizes the public, and works to preserve their habitat.”

Image shows Cleo, one of the two otters, undated photo. The animals were brought to Zurich Zoo, Switzerland in June 2024. (Zurich Zoo, Enzo Franchini/Newsflash)

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Story By: Georgina JedikovskaSub-EditorGeorgina JedikovskaAgency: Newsflash

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