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Edinburgh Zoo welcomes inquisitive otter pair
Barry and Luna are enjoying exploring their new home.
Barry and Luna are settling in well to their new enclosure. 

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has welcomed the arrival of two Asian small-clawed otters to Edinburgh Zoo.

Keepers at the wildlife conservation charity say the otters, named Barry and Luna, are becoming more confident every day and enjoy exploring their new enclosure.

Senior carnivore keeper Andrew Laing, said: “Barry and Luna are settling well into their new home and are already very bonded.  

“They were quite shy when they first arrived last month and still like to spend a lot of their morning in their underground holts but in the afternoon, they come out for a dip in their pool and a nosy at what our visitors are up to.

“Luna is the more confident of the two and you can tell her apart from Barry as she has a pink nose and he has a black nose.”

One of the world's smallest otters, the Asian small-clawed otter is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. They are extremely dextrous and use their forepaws to feel for crustaceans and molluscs in mud, rock and vegetation.

The species is found in the wild throughout south-east Asia, the Philippines and Indonesia. In recent years, however, deforestation, agriculture and the overexploitation on prey have seen their populations plummet.

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AWF Student Grant Scheme opens for applications

News Story 1
 The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) is inviting applications to its 2021 Student Grant Scheme for innovative projects designed to impact animal welfare. The scheme welcomes proposals from undergraduates studying veterinary and animal welfare degrees, but students from other disciplines are also welcome to apply.

Grants will fund projects on animal welfare topics that are relevant to the veterinary profession and help develop the student's skills as a researcher. This year, the AWF is also accepting projects which are carried out alongside EMS so long as they are supervised. For more information and to apply, visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk 

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Survey seeks views on keeping cows with calves

Researchers at Scotland's Rural College are seeking views from dairy farmers on keeping cows with calves.

Their study entitled 'Keeping Cow with Calf: bringing innovation to dairying in Scotland' aims to find out the motivations and reservations about operating a cow-with-calf dairy system.

The survey will help researchers build an evidence base and gauge what support farmers need to move to this practice. For more information, or to complete the survey, visit keepingcowwithcalf.com