This Earth Day, take a few minutes to learn about one of the cutest species you never knew existed -- and the role it plays in Southeast Asia's largest freshwater fishery.

1. There is only one hairy-nosed otter living in captivity.

This is the only known hairy-nosed otter living in captivity. He has been living in the Phnom Tamao Zoological Park and Wildlife Rescue Center on the outskirts of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. He doesn't even have a name yet.

2. There are thought to be just a few hundred left on the planet.

(© Conservation International/Photo by Sterling Zumbrunn)

This is Dara. She was previously the only hairy-nosed otter in captivity until she died a few years ago.

3. Hairy-nosed otters were once thought to be extinct.

These otters were thought to be extinct in Cambodia. They were only rediscovered in the past decade. Camera traps have shown there is a small population of hairy-nosed otters in the wild.

4. Hairy-nosed otters help maintain healthy fish populations.

Hairy-nosed otters are important to the ecology of Tonle Sap Lake, which is the largest inland fishery in the world. The otters help to maintain healthy fish populations in the lake and its connecting rivers, which serves as a fish factory for all 15 million people living in Cambodia.

5. The hairy-nosed otter population is in jeopardy because of hunting.

(© Conservation International/Photo by Peter Stonier)

Otters are often killed because they can swim into fish traps, remove the fish and break fishing nets. Fishermen feel very threatened by otters. Plus, otters are also sought after for their fur, which is soft, waterproof and used either to line clothing or to make hats.

6. Education can save the hairy-nosed otter.

 (© Conservation International/Photo by Peter Stonier)

When local communities and fishermen have learned how otters can help maintain a productive and healthy fishery, they’ve changed their behavior. Communities have gone out of their way to protect the otters, and there’s been an increase in otter populations in the Tonle Sap.

7. "No-Name" was a pet.

"No-Name" was donated to Phnom Tamao Zoological Park and Wildlife Rescue Center by a fisherman. The fisherman’s son was in a class where he learned about the importance of otter conservation. The boy went home and made his father give the otter to the rescue center.

8. This otter actually has a hairy nose. 

(© Conservation International/Photo by Sterling Zumbrunn)

Mugging for the camera here, Dara is showing us how her nose fuzz lives up to the name. Other species of otters have noses similar to those of dogs.

9. Did we mention he doesn't have a name yet?

He doesn’t have a name yet -- and he doesn’t have a mate, either. The rescue center hopes to find a female hairy-nosed otter so that scientists can begin to breed the otters in captivity and release them back into the wild.

Watch the whole story!

Learn more about the work Conservation International is doing in Cambodia to protect the world’s largest freshwater fishery, the Tonle Sap Lake. Along with education programs in schools and communities, Conservation International also helps support the work of the Phnom Tamau Rescue Center. Learn more about it here.