Humans aren’t the only animals to benefit from healthy omega-3s. Otters do too.

A group of five otters at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Canterbury have been lapping up all the goodness of healthy long chain omega-3 oils after receiving a shipment of baby salmon this week.

Think improved joint mobility, heart health and glowing skin and hair – just what a fashionable otter desires.

Marlborough-based New Zealand King Salmon has donated 500kg of baby salmon (smolt) to the reserve to give the otters a healthy and tasty alternative to their everyday diet.

Head of ‘Wild NZ’ at the Reserve is Genevieve Sinnott and she says the company has frequently donated salmon smolt to the reserve – and it’s a favourite of the otters.

“Salmon smolt is always a treat for our little furry friends. Their diet is usually herring and pilchard so they jump at the chance for the variety of a more tasty fish. And of course the otter-keepers are happy to know their charges are dosing up on healthy Omega-3s at the same time,” says Genevieve.

NZ King Salmon has in the past donated a similar amount of its baby salmon to the reserve and in gratitude Willowbank is putting up a small plaque in the otter enclosure thanking the company for its support.

The Otters at Willowbank are Asian Small-Clawed. They are one of the smallest otter breeds in the world, rarely weighing more than 5kg – Willowbank’s weigh in at around 3.5kg.

They are gregarious and are often found in groups of up to 15 individuals. The Willowbank otters have unusual “hand-like” front paws that have greater sensitivity and less webbing than other otter species, because they forage for their prey of crustaceans, molluscs and fish.

Their home habitats are the mangrove swamps and freshwater wetlands of Bangladesh, India, China, Malaya, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam where their official status is ‘vulnerable’.

About New Zealand King Salmon:
New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) sustainably farms King salmon from five sea farms in the cool, deep waters of New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds.  NZKS invests heavily in research and development and is recognised worldwide for its best in class King salmon farming practises. It is firmly committed to the sustainability and viability of a renewable resource with its success centred on maintaining the purity of the waters in which the salmon are farmed. King salmon has the highest natural content of healthy long-chain Omega-3 oils important for life and good health and which can help to maintain a healthy heart.

About Willowbank Wildlife Reserve:
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is situated close to Christchurch on the edge of a spring fed stream. The Reserve is divided into three areas ‘Wild NZ’ where the otters reside, Heritage NZ which houses old and rare breeds of farm and domestic animals & birds and ‘Natural NZ’ which is home to New Zealand’s Big 5 – the kiwi, tuatara, takahe, kea and south Island kaka. Willowbank’s catch phrase is “up close and personal” with magical encounters of the wildlife kind.

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