There's a new crew at the water's edge at the Santa Barbara Zoo - a second litter of baby Asian small-clawed Otters, five in all! Born on May 21, at fourteen weeks old and weighing 3.3 pounds, the new pups have been kept in a den by their parents behind the scenes until they grew their waterproof fur, and were old enough to swim and eat solid food.
The babies join their six older siblings who, at just over a year old help mom and dad in the care of the new pups, thus learning important pup-rearing skills for their own future as parents. This makes for a total of thirteen otters in the group. Their exhibit’s three-foot deep pool has been sectioned off for the new pups’ safety and will reopen next week when the pups are mature enough to dive. The Santa Barbara Zoo reports this whole passel of otters is delighting their guests!
The parents - mom, Jillian, and dad, Bob - arrived at the Zoo in 2010 and were paired as part of a cooperative breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Jillian is one year and ten months old and was born at the Bronx Zoo. Bob, aged three years and six months, came from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.