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European Otter “Dajin” Makes a Cameo Appearance to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Fans

The European Otter “Dajin” is back at the Formosan Animal Area for a limited time! The personable otter immediately drew large groups of tourists upon emerging. The keeper said that the zoo began a planned relocation and mixing of individual animals at the end of last year (2019) to provide the European otters in its care with a better and more comfortable living space. “Dajin” was a rescue who became very popular with fans. From now through to the Lunar New Year holidays, the European Otter outdoor activity area in the Formosan Animal Area will play host to his “one-otter show” as he joins everyone in celebrating the Lunar New Year!
As a member of the Forestry Bureau’s wildlife rescue program, Taipei Zoo took over the care of two otter pups named “Dajin” and “Siaojin” in 2014 when the brothers’ eyes were still closed. Being reared by hand meant the brothers became less wary of strangers. The older “Dajin” became particularly close to the keeper. Whenever the keeper entered the pen to clean and put down food each day, “Dajin” would rush over and wrap his paws around the keeper’s rubber boots. His enthusiastic personality was probably why “Dajin” built up such a big following.
European otters can be found in the wild day and night in Kinmen. They tend to be more active at night though. The European otter “Jinsha” usually stayed in the nesting box with her babies while nursing during the day. Even floating balls filled with live fish placed in the activity area by the keepers rarely tempted them into leaving their den. “Jinsha” and her babies would wait until the sun had set before coming out to play.  Many loyal fans know her routine so people usually start gathering around dusk near the European Otter exhibit in the Formosan Animals Area as the evening approaches. They wait there to watch the agile otters swim and catch fish. 
Now that the three European Otters born in the Zoo named “Wuyou,” “Wulu,” and “Cingyu” have grown up and started their own lives, the existing space in the Formosan Animal Area has become increasingly crowded. To provide each otter with a more comfortable living environment, “Xiaojin” and “Jinsha” were moved into a new space in the conservation area at the end of last year (2019). “Dajin” will make a cameo appearance  at the European Otter outdoor activity area in the Formosan Animal Area from now through the Lunar New Year holidays. After the Lunar New Year holidays, the space will be turned over to rescue European Otter pups for “swimming lessons.” All fans of “Dajin” should take note of this rare opportunity to visit the zoo, catch up with “Dajin,” and come celebrate the Lunar New Year together!