LANSING, Mich. — Potter Park Zoo announced on Tuesday the birth of two otter pups!
They were born to Nkeke and Miles the North American river otters that live at the zoo.
“It has been an eventful winter at Potter Park Zoo with the birth of Jaali, an eastern black rhino, and now two North American river otters. We are excited to share these births with the community as we celebrate our centennial,” said Cynthia Wagner, Potter Park Zoo Director.
The pups were born on February 9 and are the second successful birth for the otter couple.
They have been seen by the zoo veterinarian and received a clean bill of health.
“The pups look healthy and are nursing regularly. One pup weighed in at 106 grams and the other at 118 grams. We will continue to monitor Nkeke and the pups closely over the next couple of months,” said Dr. Eustace.
Officials from the zoo said that "the animal care team first observed signs of Nkeke possibly being pregnant over the past month, but since the species has delayed implantation, it was not possible to predict a specific due date. Delayed implantation occurs when a fertilized egg does not implant in the uterus until a later date. River otters often delay implantation for as many as 273 days. After the egg has implanted, actual gestation is only about 60 days."
Fun fact: Otter pups are born with fur on their bodies and their eyes closed. Their eyes will open around 10 days old and they will begin swimming lessons from mom sometime after they’re a month old.
If you come to the zoo to see the otters, you will only see the proud papa. You won’t be able to see Nkeke or the pups for a few months.
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