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Utterly Outrageous Otter Encounter - Australia Zoo

Home > Brisbane > Animals and Wildlife | Day Trips | Family | Fun Things To Do | Zoos
by Amanda I (subscribe)
I'm a freelance travel writer living in Brisbane. Visit my blog at
Published September 2nd 2016
A close encounter that’s a whole lot of fun
The squeaks draw me near; vocal calls not dissimilar to those emitted by Sweep from the classic 1980's television show, The Sooty Show. Mayhem and Rosie, two Asian small-clawed otters, were darting around their habitat like children hyped up after skulling red cordial all morning.

Asian small-clawed otters
Asian small-clawed otters

They had their routine down pat – a refreshing dip in the pool was followed by a quick groom a split second later, then they played on a hollow log before digging frantically near the door in an attempt to reach the keepers' and their lunch before diving into the water for another swim, repeating the whole routine.

I was eagerly awaiting their lunch as well as I would be interacting with these adorable creatures during Australia Zoo's Utterly Outrageous Otter Encounter.

At 1.15pm a keeper met me at the otter habitat and led me through a wooden gate into the enclosure. After a quick overview of the program, the fun commenced!

Perched on my lap, Mayhem stretched his slender body, inquisitively reaching out for the meal worms and pork pieces I held my hand. His dense, silky fur glistened as he displayed great dexterity using his partially webbed paws like hands, delicately picking up each morsel of food and munching with teeth strong enough to crush a crab shell. Mayhem trilled as he feasted; just one of the dozen different vocal sounds produced by otters.

Otter Encounter
Otter Encounter - Image taken by Australia Zoo Photography

Mayhem is a relatively new arrival at Australia Zoo, arriving in August 2015. This 15 year old is a social otter and the boss of the romp. Weighing approximately 3 kilograms, Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest of the 13 species of otter found worldwide.

Once Mayhem had devoured his quota of food, I observed Rosie, a cheeky and playful otter with golden whiskers, gently prodding the ground with her paws to locate her meal worms.

Australia Zoo's Utterly Outrageous Otter Encounter costs $79 and includes a fridge magnet with a photo from the day. A disc of photos is available for an additional $50. Entry into Australia Zoo is not included in the price. As participation is limited to two guests per day, advanced bookings are recommended.

Located one hour north of Brisbane on Steve Irwin Way at Beerwah, Australia Zoo is the ultimate wildlife adventure.

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Why? Get up close and personal with otters
When: Daily at 1.15pm
Phone: (07) 5436 2000
Where: 1638 Steve Irwin Way Beerwah, Qld, 4519
Cost: $79
Your Comment
The zoos all have such great encounters these days. It's a great way to keep people interested in animals and of course to raise funds for conservation.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8042) 1512 days ago
A great Zoo to visit, Amanda, I can see you had a lovely time!
by Elaine (score: 3|7671) 1516 days ago
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