Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Nemo der Kleine Otter

Allow me to introduce you to little Otto Otter.  Here he is.

Woo hoo!  Here I am!

He went to live in Germany and we got sent some pictures and . . . ah, hang on . . . what is he doing?

Who is he playing with . . . ?

Could it possibly be . . . a REAL otter?

Otto vs Real Otter (with a nice chewy biro)

Yup, Otto went to live with Nemo the little otter at the Aquazoo in Düsseldorf.  Nemo is an Asian Short-Clawed Otter and is a minor celebrity in his home town.  He has hundreds of fans around the world, his own Facebook page (with over 2200 friends) and regularly appears in many newspaper articles and TV clips in Germany.

But Nemo is not an exhibit at the zoo. Nemo has been raised since birth by the director of the Aquazoo Dr Wolfgang Gettmann and his family, and as Asian Short Claws are so social and family-orientated, he now regards the Gettmanns and their dog Balou as his own family and loves their company.  These unusual circumstances arose when Nemo's mother gave birth to seven cubs at once. As otter mums usually have a litter of four cubs max, she found seven way too overwhelming to care for properly and sadly two cubs died.  The decision was made to take one of the other cubs away so that they would all have a greater chance of survival and so Dr Gettmann became the Daddy!

Baby Nemo being bottle fed.

Nemo in his favourite place - on Dr Gettmann's shoulder.
I thought it would be really sweet to have a picture of a Shark Alley otter with a real live otter so I made Otto and sent him over.  I chose to sew his eyes from felt rather than sequins so that he was completely safe for Nemo to play with, hence them not looking as super-shiny as those of the other sewn otters.

Dr Gettmann and his family went to a great deal of time and trouble to take the following shots, for which I am very grateful (I'm sure they had a lot better things to do!) and they're so fun and cute that I'd like to share them with you too.

"And who might you be?!"

Rolling with the homies
Got any spare?
Otto, Balou and Nemo.  Happy families!
(All Nemo pictures by Dr Wolfgang Gettmann)


In December 2012, I was lucky enough to spend some time with Nemo myself. Full story here!


  1. Nemo der kleine Otter12 September 2012 at 20:03

    Hey Otto!
    Funny to find myself here with you, isn't it? I'm gald you're around at home so that I'm not the sole otter in the house... =°o°=

    We're having a great time and maybe we'll get some more nice pictures for Sarah.

    Nemo =°o°=

    1. I'm so happy that you and Otto are friends, Nemo - but hope that you two don't get up to too much mischief together! >o)))> >o)))> >o)))>