Common Name

African Clawless otter

Afrikaanse naam




Scientific Name

Aonyx capensis
African Clawless otter


Total length about 1 -25m - weight 12-15kg. Strongly built with a broad head - small ears and a muscular tail. Very dense coat - usually dark brown with lighter underparts. The muzzle - chin - cheeks and neck are white. Ranging widely - frequenting rivers and the sea. The clawless forefeet are very dextrous. They are spectacular swimmers and very playful. Solitary - in pairs or family parties. Active mainly in the early morning and late afternoon and evening. Favourite foods are fish and crabs - also frogs - insects - reptiles - molluscs and occasionally birds. Shelters in dense vegetation - burrows or under rocks. The presence of otters indicate good clean water.