Newborn Otter Twins Curl Up Together
These tiny ones are nine days old, born February 26 to otter Tilly, a rescue resident at Oregon Zoo. One pup is a girl, the other a boy. Oregon Zoo writes:
"Young river otters are extremely dependent on their moms, and Tilly has been very nurturing," said Julie Christie, senior keeper for the zoo's North America area. "She did a great job raising her first two pups, Mo and Ziggy, both born in 2013. And she was a terrific adoptive mom to Little Pudding, the orphan pup who was rescued from a roadside in 2015. We expect she'll do well with her new babies as well."
Tilly and her pups are currently in a private maternity den, and it will likely be another month or two before visitors can see them in their Cascade Stream and Pond habitat...
Keepers have yet to decide on a name for the two new pups, though it is likely they will be named after local rivers or waterways. Mo was named for the Molalla River, and Ziggy for the ZigZag. Little Pudding bears the name of a Pudding River tributary that joins the main stem in Marion County...
Tilly, named after the Tillamook River, was found orphaned near Johnson Creek in 2009. She was about 4 months old, had been wounded by an animal attack and was seriously malnourished. Once her health had stabilized, Tilly came to the Oregon Zoo in a transfer facilitated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which oversees the species' protection.
"She was a tough little otter," remembered curator Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo's North America and marine life areas. "She was in really bad shape when she was found, so it's great to see her doing well now and raising pups of her own. She's been a terrific mom."
The pup's father, B.C. (short for Buttercup), was found orphaned near Star City, Ark., also in 2009. He was initially taken in by the Little Rock Zoo, but transferred here the following year as a companion for Tilly. The two otters hit it off quickly and have been playful visitor favorites ever since.