Otterly adorable: The tiny newborn pups being reared by humans after their mother was unable to care for them

By Daily Mail Reporter

Milk of human kindness: Two newborn otter pups are being raised by staff at Longleat Safari Park after their own mother failed to produce enough milk for them

Two tiny otter pups whose mother is unable to produce enough milk to care for them are being raised by humans, who are caring for them round the clock.

The baby otters are being reared by surrogate Beverley Allen, who bottle-feeds the pair every two-and-a-half hours, after being born at Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire.

Ms Allen has turned an old shoe box into a nest for them and has placed a fluffy toy otter in with them, to represent their mother.

The newborn pups even have a 30C heated mat which emulates the warmth their real mother would produce.

They will be fed on artificial puppy-rearing milk until they are 130 days old - and will even be taught to swim in Ms Allen's bath.

When they are big enough they will be reunited with the other otters at Longleat Safari Park, Wilts.

The pups, named Sumalee and Kasen, weighed just 2.1ozs at birth and were 6ins inches long.

Now four weeks old, they have grown to 12ins long, with female Sumalee weighing 14.5ozs and male Kasen weighing 16.4ozs.

It is not the first time Ms Allen has played mum for baby animals at Longleat. She has already hand-reared a baby wallaby who lived in a rucksack on her front for six months.

Ms Allen, 30, said: 'We try and maintain a hands-off approach with any newborn at Longleat as nine times out of ten, mum is the best bet.

Cuddles: The otters have been given a furry toy to emulate their mother, who was unable to produce enough milk to raise them herself

'But we soon realised that the otters' mum, Rosie, was just not producing enough milk and we had to step in to save them.

'I have to admit that being full-time mum to two pups is pretty hard work. I'm feeding them by hand every two-and-a-half hours on artificial puppy rearing milk, which is the next best thing to mum's milk.'

'They are now around four weeks old and their eyes should be opening in the next week or so. They're completely helpless at the moment and are entirely reliant on me to look after them.

'They are coming home with me every night and sleeping in my spare bedroom.'

'I'm trying not to handle them too much as ideally we'd like to introduce them back into the otter group once they've reached full weaning age at around 130 days.

'I'm sure that this won't stop me popping them into the bath at home though as from about 10 weeks we'll start introducing them to water.

'My boyfriend doesn't mind me keeping them at home at night, even though they squeak a lot when he's trying to watch TV.'

The cute Asian short-clawed otter infants were born to parents Rosie, 11, and Romeo, six.

After they are weaned they will be fed on a diet of small mammals and crustacians.

source :dailymail