CUTE and fluffy killers are becoming a star attraction at Bournemouth Oceanarium.

“People connect with them because they are beautiful,” said curator Oliver Buttling, as the two new otters were shown off to VIPs.

“But they are vicious and will try and eat anything – they are quite fearsome creatures.”

Moments later seven-year-old Buster and five-year-old partner Bea showed both sides to their character in their 64 metre square tank.

Children and adults ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ as they paddled around at feeding time, noses pressed just an inch away through the glass.

But the lady feeding them had to keep the pair back with a brush as they came forward impatiently for the food.

One then gleefully fought with a crayfish that tried in vain to nip back, then wrestled the remains of the poor crustacean around the tank.

Staff said the pair have become one of the top attractions since arriving in April, and could rival the Sea Turtles as the crowd favourite.

They were bred in captivity and re-homed from Newquay because it had more otters arriving.

They are Oriental short clawed otters, and, like all 13 species, are endangered in the wild.

Feeding times are twice a day around 11am and 1pm – with variations and extra feeds – including chicks, fish, mice and hard-boiled eggs.

They are so active they eat one fifth of their body weight a day. That’s the equivalent of 15kg of food for a 12stone human.

Mr Buttling said they are charismatic too – they like to juggle stones in their tank and will look visitors right in the eye.

They are the Oceanarium’s first mammals and James Eels, UK director, said: “The otters give diversity to our collection. And children empathise more with fluffy creatures than they ever do with fish.”