Cruel pet otter craze fuelled by Japanese otter cafes and social media

Cruel pet otter craze fuelled by Japanese otter cafes and social media

Otter cafes 

In Japan, there are more than a dozen animal cafes featuring otters. Each animal at these venues is suffering for the sake of entertainment. 

  • The otters whimper, shriek and make distress calls while customers are interacting with them 
  • Some are kept in solitary conditions with no natural light
  • Others are seen biting their claws and exhibiting traumatized behavior
  • Some of the worst housing conditions include small cages with no access to water

faux fur

Poached to the brink of extinction  

Because of these cafes and images of pet otters on social media, wild otters are being hunted and trafficked out of existence to satisfy the growing international demand. 

Our undercover investigation reveals the cruelty behind the illegal hunting, trafficking, and increased attempts to captive breed otters across Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia: 

  • Otter cubs are snatched from their parents in the wild. The fiercely protective parents are shot, electrocuted or their nests are smoked out, so poachers can take their cubs 
  • Three out of four Southeast Asian otter species are at risk of extinction in the wild  
  • Suggested involvement of law enforcement and government officials facilitating the cruel trade 
  • It is a fairly common practice to cut or even remove the teeth of otters being kept as pets making them safer to handle.  At a rescue centre, we visited, it was reported that this is seen in the trade a lot. Many otters arrive in sad conditions, tooth decay is common, and some arrive with no teeth, or have had their canines cut

How you can help

  • Our investigations show that social media is a major driver in creating a desire for pet otters. You can help by not sharing videos showing pet otters, putting an end to the normalization of the pet otter craze
  • Read our report uncovering the horrors of the pet otter trade
  • Help us spread the word: save the image below and post it in the comments of pet otter videos, raising awareness on the suffering of these animals 



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Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?


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