Perth Zoo debut for otter-ly gorgeous pups

Four tiny otter pups have marked World Otter Day with their first vet check at Perth Zoo ahead of their public debut.

The eight-week-old brood of Asian Small-clawed otters, which are already social media stars, were born to mum Paddy and dad Cerdik as part of a breeding program to help protect the species from extinction.

Perth Zoo senior keeper Karen Rotherham says the three males and one female have been safely tucked up in their nest boxes since their birth.

Ms Rotherham said otters are born with their eyes closed and rely on their parents for the first weeks of their lives.

The Asian Small-clawed otter calls the tropical rainforests in parts of southeast Asia home and is the smallest of the otter family.

Their thick double coats of fur are mostly waterproof and keep the water-loving mammals warm.

Ms Rotherham says all 13 species are considered threatened due to the destruction of their habitat from pollution, urban development and the agriculture industry.

"Wild otters have been poached for the illegal pet and fur trade, whilst entanglement in fishing nets can result in injury and sometimes painful death for some otters," Ms Rotherham said.

"We hope our growing otter family at Perth Zoo will help more people discover why these incredible animals are worth saving."

The pups will be on display in time for the winter school holidays.

World Otter Day is held annually on the last Wednesday of May to help raise awareness of issues otters face in the wild.