The Santa Barbra Zoo announced the birth of four otter pups last week.
Zoo officials say Gail, the Zoo's female Asian small-clawed otter, gave birth to four healthy pups last Friday. The pups had their first check-up Wednesday but the animal care team has not been able to determine their gender yet.
The pups will remain off the exhibit for one to two months as their mother Gail, their father Peeta, and older brother Berbudi work to raise the pups. Zoo officials say during this time the family will be teaching them how to swim.
According to zoo officials, Gail last gave birth in 2017. She was born in November 2013 at Greensboro Science Center, NC, and arrived at the Zoo in March 2017. Peeta was born in February 2008 at Fort Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA, and arrived at the Zoo in 2012. Berbudi was part of Gail and Peeta's last litter, born at the Santa Barbara Zoo on October 7, 2017.
These otters are Asian small-clawed otters which are the smallest of all 13 otter species, according to animal experts. They can be found in southern India, southern China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They have webbed feet, and their claws do not extend beyond their digital pads. Well adapted to life in the water they spend a majority of their time on land.
The otters at Santa Barbara Zoo are part of the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative conservation program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) which aims to maintain genetic diversity within AZA populations, sustain these populations, and guard against extinction.
The public can help welcome the new otter pups by becoming a Foster Feeder sponsor. New Foster Feeders will receive a personalized digital Foster Feeder certificate (includes honoree's name and leopard photo), and recognition on the Foster Feeder board at the Zoo.
To sign up as a Foster Feeder or to donate to the Zoo, click here.