It’s never a bad time for baby animals, and if you’re feeling stressed or under the weather, you can get a quick boost of serotonin with just a simple Google search for all things cute and fluffy! Today, that dose of happiness comes in the form of four baby Asian otter pups that were born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and are finally being shown off to the public! With the species vulnerable to extinction, this new litter is full of adorable hope.
The litter consists of two boys and two girls, plus their one-year-old sister Scooter, born to the proud otter parents Carlisle and Harley.
The babies were born on December 28, 2019, but zoo staff are just now showing them off to the internet, as they usually stay in their den for several weeks while sleeping, nursing, and bonding. After a little over a month, the pups officially open their eyes and start to explore their enclosure.
This is the second Asian otter birth for both the zoo and the otter parents, Harley and Carlisle.
The smallest of the 13 otter species, Asian small-clawed otters are native to southeast Asia and are highly social and intelligent. These cuddly critters are endangered and at risk of extinction due to habitat loss.
Tony Vecchio, the zoo executive director, was quoted by First Coast News saying the zoo places a lot of emphasis on education and conservation.
He hopes that helping guests to understand both the threats the animals face and the benefits they have on the ecosystem as a whole will inspire action.
The babies don’t have names just yet, but you can keep up with all their antics and watch them grow and explore by checking in with Jacksonville Zoo’s social media platforms.