A lonely otter has finally coupled up with a new mate after years of ‘grafting.’
Badger the otter has been a bachelor for 10 years at the Sea Life centre in Weymouth, Dorset.
After several failed attempts, he has now officially coupled up with Isa.
Keepers say “sparks have been flying” ever since the female otter joined Badger in his enclosure.
The park opened the new enclosure for the Asian short-clawed otter, who had been “mugged off for years”, a spokesperson said.
General manager Tamsin Mutton-McKnight said the team is delighted to announced the arrival of a new partner for Badger.
“Whilst he has been very much enjoying his new enclosure and has been causing mischief for the animal care team, we could sense it was time for Badger to enjoy some more company,” she told the BBC.
Badger was described as a playful and cheeky otter at the centre where he is often seen dipping and diving in the river, washing himself with pebbles and playing in the long grass.
Isa was born in 2020 and keepers say she “hasn’t left Badger’s side” since arriving at the enclosure.
She was described as “the perfect partner” for Badger and the pair have already been playing together.
Ms Mutton-McKnight added: “The team have noticed that sparks are flying between the new couple.
“We can’t wait for guests to visit and experience this new romance, thanks to the new tunnels, windows and specialist viewing areas, they will be able to see the duo up close over the summer.”
Asian Short-Clawed Otters are found in Bangladesh, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan.
They thrive in mangrove swamps and freshwater wetlands as well as rice paddies and river systems.
Otters are social creatures and live in extended family groups.
They dig their burrows into muddy banks and spend much of the day on land, playing, grooming, resting and sleeping.
Only a dominant pair breed while their offspring and older cubs help to raise the litter.