Did you think you were going to get some work done this arvo? We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are not. Melbourne Zoo has just launched a livestream of its family of Asian small-clawed otters, and well, you're just going to have to watch it for the rest of time.
Otter parents Paula (aged ten) and Odie (aged three) had a litter of four pups in February, and although it will be a little while before you can visit the zoo, you can check in on the tiny critters with the 24-hour livestream. The webcam captures their sleeping quarters, so you can watch them snoozing in a giant otter cuddle pile, which is just as adorable as you think it is.
The litter includes three males, Murphy, Rodney and Gunther, and one female, Squid. The four are Paula and Odie's first pups and Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest breed of otters in the world.
Melbourne Zoo wild sea life sciences manager Mark Ryan says the livestream might even capture Odie teaching the pups to play fight. "Otters are very curious, playful and quite cheeky animals," Ryan says. "The play you will see on camera is normal behaviour and quite common in otter groups and not dissimilar to the 'rough play' most siblings would have. It’s also a bonding experience and helps with group cohesion.
"The livestream camera is situated in what we call the nest box. This is where the otters all come together to sleep. It's also where the otters were born."
There are numerous animal livestreams at Melbourne Zoo, including penguins, giraffes, lions, meerkats and a snow leopard. But you should probably just watch the otters.
Want to help the zoo while it's closed to visitors? You can get involved in the ‘Don’t Palm Us Off’ campaign, which calls for proper labelling of palm oil products.