The lutrines, commonly known as otters, feel more at home in the water than on dry land, being strong swimmers who can stay underwater for up to 6 minutes without coming up to breathe. Their thick waterproof fur allows them to retain their body heat.
The oriental small-clawed otter, the smallest of all the otters, and in which the adult male does not usually weigh more than 5 kilos, lives in Asian lakes and rivers, on coasts and in rice paddies. It has outstanding swimming and diving ability and great dexterity with its front paws, using them to find prey by touch, digging into the mud and cracks in search of clams, snails, frogs… Its teeth are also highly suitable for chewing the hard shells of crustaceans.
It lives in family groups which can reach two members, generally made up of the breeding pair and their offspring from different litters. It can breed twice a year, and the parents and elder pups take turns caring for the youngest, who will start to swim at about nine weeks.