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First North American River Otter litter born at Milwaukee County Zoo

North American River Otter Litter
Posted at 5:41 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 06:41:21-05

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Zoo welcomed its first-ever litter of North American River Otters on February 7!

The zoo shared the news Tuesday, saying three males and one female pup were born to mom, Shamrock, and dad, Malarkey. This is the first surviving otter litter for mom and dad, as well as for the zoo.

Officials said Shamrock is showing excelled maternal care towards her pups. In a news release, the zoo said she’s extremely attentive and stays with the pups nearly every hour of the day, in an off-exhibit holding area. She cleans and grooms the pups and has even been seen bringing her food into the area to be close to them.

Malarkey and the other female otter Clover remain in the outdoor habitat, but Shamrock and her babies are together in the indoor maternity den.

Inside the den, there is soft natural bedding material for warmth and comfort, and several habitat areas within so Shamrock can move her pups from one area to another if she chooses to0.

The zoo said Shamrock is currently nursing the pups, but in about 42-56 days, they will begin eating mashed fish. The pups eyes will remain closed for around a month.

After their eyes open, the pups will learn to walk and then swim.

Zoo staff said they will continue to monitor the babies daily, and weigh them regularly. They will remain off-exhibit for a few months.

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