Otters get their own eatable take-away menus Down Under

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Melbourne, June 10 : Caretakers from Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia have employed a bizarre way to stimulate otters' natural foraging behaviour.

The zookeepers are splattering phone books with fish blood and prawn juice as part of a program to keep otters Harley and Rose active.

"It's like ordering takeout only that the takeout is inside the directory," the Daily Telegraph quoted zookeeper Ian Armstrong, as saying.

"We try and make feeding time interesting by putting the prawn juice or fish blood because it has a strong smell and they naturally go at it. We then put little fish bits in as a reward," he added.

Meanwhile, the female otter was found to be more dominant by claiming the book first.

She flicked through the fishy pages smelling each of them and finding small pieces of prawn.

By the end of the book, she has completely ripped it to pieces and left it to Harley to make a nest.

"She definitely wears the pants in this relationship," Armstrong added.

Other programs include Otter TV, which is when the animals have to get a yabby out of a bottle.

The keepers also put scents and sprays around the otter enclosure as well as live fish in the pond to keep them active.

"We use anything that will excite them because they have high energy," said Armstrong.

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