Watch the moment endangered otter born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park seen by public for the first time

It was the hottest weekend of the year and one resident at Yorkshire Wildlife Park could not resist the urge for a dip, delighting visitors on her debut weekend in front of the public.

Bonita, the baby giant otter, was born on Boxing Day last year and has been carefully nurtured by staff at the park during the winter months.

She has been learning swimming tricks from her parents Alexandra and Orimar, who were introduced in 2019 as part of the European Breeding Programme for the mammals.

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Bonita is the first otter cub from the endangered species to be born at the park and has been busy watching and learning from her parents diving and swimming. She has already developed impressive skills in her indoor pool.

Bonita, the baby giant otter, was born on Boxing Day last year

Tilly McGill, an animal ranger in the aquatics department at the park, at Auckley, near Doncaster, said: “This is Alex and Ori’s first cub and they are doing an exceptional job. They are very attentive.

“They have been inside a lot during the winter and the cold spring but visitors will be able to see all three of them enjoying the main pool now. We have announced her name today – Bonita which is Portuguese for beautiful, but we call her Bonnie, as she is a bonny lass – in true Yorkshire style!”

Otter-loving visitors to the park have also contributed towards a conservation effort in the Cantao region of Brazil to support and protect the species to save them from the brink of extinction. While the species remains at risk, projects like the one visitors donate to have helped swell their wild population in South America to around 5000.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park trustee Cheryl Williams said: “They’re in trouble again so the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation supports a conservation initiative which patrols that big reserve to protect against poachers and illegal fishing and at the same time conducts a lot of research to find out more about these amazing animals.”

Bonita playing with the other otters at the park