Until we can pack our bags and travel again, here are some cute photos of the Asian Small-clawed otters at Taronga Zoo to help alleviate the frustration we know you are feeling.

We hope the photos of these happy critters splashing about will turn your frown upside down. As part of a 30-day enrichment schedule the otters are fed special fishicles to encourage these furry cuties to develop and hone their natural behaviour. 

Photos courtesy Rick Stevens, Taronga Zoo

Enticed by the fishy smells, the otters headed straight for the fishicles in attempt to free the tasty fillets, even taking them for a spin underwater and using their dextrous claws to pry at the fish. 

In the wild, otters are opportunistic eaters, so keepers at Taronga like to replicate that natural variation with a variety of different food sources, as well as providing new ways for the otters to receive their food. 

Photos courtesy Rick Stevens, Taronga Zoo

Enrichment is a really important part of the lives of the animals at Taronga Zoo and gives them an opportunity to display natural behaviours they would use in the wild, whether that is playing or foraging for food.

Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest species of the 13 species of otter, with adults males weighing in around 5kg. They are classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, with wild populations heavily impacted by the illegal pet trade as well as habitat loss.