The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has welcomed two bundles of furry cuteness. Parks and Recreation Director Jay Tetzloff said the baby otter pups were born about a month ago.
Their eyes are now open, but Tetzloff said they do not yet know how to swim.
"We give them a kiddie pool. That has seemed to work for us the last two years. Other zoos have told us it takes two to three weeks to teach them to swim. Our mother has done it in a day to a day and a half," said Tetzloff.
Tetzloff said the pups will likely go on public display in April.
Many Zoos have trouble breeding otters in captivity. Last year, Tetzloff said only two zoos in the U.S. had pups. This year there are seven litters across 110 accredited zoos. The Miller Park Zoo has had three litters in the last four years with this couple. Tetzloff said getting a new female turned the trick. He said it's kind of like Tinder for otters.
We make decisions as a population m,anagement group. They make the decision based on who is the best match from a genetic standpoint and from a demographic standpoint. You don't want an older girl with a young male or an older guy with a young female," said Tetzloff.
The two pups come from parents Tallulah and Ozzie. They can be seen with their mother on a video monitos in the the Zoo's hospital room.
A typical otter litter is three pups, but the range is one to five.
A new river otter exhibit is in phase one of the zoo's master plan now in the fundraising phase. The right to name the otters will be auctioned off as part of a fundraiser.