The naming contest ends this Saturday, but for right now, we’re calling our new Asian small-clawed otter pair mom and dad. That’s because the pair delivered pups on Tuesday, June 11 behind the scenes of their Bamboo Forest Reserve exhibit!
|Mom and dad. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.|
In celebration of our new otter pop this Father’s Day, we’re giving away Otter Pops to zoo visitors on Sunday, June 16. Pick up a free Otter Pop while supplies last at the Rain Forest Food Pavilion.
We’d love to be able to share photos of the new pups with you, but we haven’t seen much of them yet! The attentive parents are keeping them tucked away in their behind-the-scenes den. We can hear vocalizations and have an internal cam set up so keepers can keep a watchful eye on the family and hopefully get a pup count soon!
While mom nurses the cubs, dad helps by gathering food and nesting material. He stands guard over the vulnerable pups, who are born tiny, without the ability to see or hear. They weigh around 50 grams at birth, which is 1.7 ounces, or the weight of a golf ball.
Since both parents are so involved with the rearing of pups, we won’t see them on exhibit in these earliest weeks of nursing and nesting. Though they are off exhibit for now, we’ll see the family out on exhibit again before the end of the summer. We thank you for understanding and we hope you’ll agree that the reward of otter pups at the zoo is worth the wait! You can still explore the other features of the Bamboo Forest Reserve, including a tropical aviary and a kids’ play area until then.
Any zoo baby is cause for celebration, but these pups represent more than just cute additions to the zoo. Conservation breeding of endangered, vulnerable (like the small-clawed otter) and threatened species through cooperative programs across accredited zoos and aquariums allows us to not only maintain genetic diversity for healthy populations, but also support collaborative conservation activities such as research, public education and field projects.
|Adopt an Asian small-clawed otter through our ZooParent special today. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.|
These otters depend on connected forest habitat and clean waterways to survive in their southern and southeastern Asian range. Deforestation, loss of wetlands, and increased pollution threaten the species’ survival, but you can help. Adopt an Asian small-clawed otter through our ZooParent special today and $5 of your contribution will go directly to the zoo's conservation efforts, supporting wildlife and habitat protection throughout Asia and across the globe.
|Original photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.|
And don’t forget, there’s still time to enter the naming contest! Woodland Park Zoo has teamed up with Umpqua Bank to give two contest winners a $100 Umpqua Bank savings account*, a ZooParent adoption, and a visit from an Umpqua Bank ice cream truck for 100 friends! Names must be submitted in the Malay language as a tribute to the otters’ native southern and southeastern Asian range.