Baby River Otters at Oakland Zoo

River otter baby

Oakland Zoo staff perform regular checkups on the newest members of the river otter family. Photo by Oakland Zoo.

On Mother’s Day, two North American river otters at the Oakland Zoo had lots to celebrate. The two new moms have had their paws full with three pups each for the past few months.

Rose, the younger of the two moms, gave birth to a litter of two males and one female on January 25. A few weeks later, on February 20, Ginger gave birth to a litter of two females and one male.

Zoo staff has been monitoring the pups and administering regular checkups to ensure they are in good health. The pups have remained off exhibit while they nurse, grow, and learn to swim. (Swimming is not instinctual for otter pups.)

River otter baby

Photo by Oakland Zoo.

Baby river otter

Photo by Oakland Zoo.

Baby river otter

Photo by Oakland Zoo.

Baby River otter

Photo by Oakland Zoo.

To learn more, visit the Oakland Zoo website.


Otter Pups Growing Up

Credit: Ryan Hawk

Credit: Ryan Hawk

Credit: Ryan Hawk

Credit: Ryan Hawk

The Woodland Park Zoo’s four Asian small-clawed otter pups are nearing two months old. They are learning to walk, jump, run and squeal.

Later in the summer they will go on view to the public, but for now they are learning and bonding with their family out of sight. One of the things they must prove they can do before they go on exhibit is swim, an essential task for any otter.

To see more photos visit the Woodland Park Zoo Blog.

White Otter Cubs Born

The Blue Planet Aquarium in the United Kingdom was surprised by the birth of two white otter cubs.  The babies are Asian short-claw otters which usually have dark brown fur.  This pair is thought to have leucism, which causes the fur to grow without pigment, the substance which creates color in animals.

For more photos of all-white animals visit

Great Animal Escapes

Sometimes animals outsmart us. This year, we witnessed several bold and cunning escapes.

Otter Escapes from Kansas Zoo
Kyra, a resident of the Hutchinson Zoo in Kansas, escaped from her zoo habitat on Valentine’s day and spent the week pond-hopping. Easily catching fish in other area ponds, she was unfazed by zookeeper attempts to lure her back with fish treats. But finally, she succumbed to the temptation of a hard-boiled egg.

Octopus Escapes New Zealand Aquarium

An octopus named Sid spent 5 days on the lam after escaping from his tank in a New Zealand aquarium. Sid managed to elude detection for those days by hiding in a drain that pumped fresh sea water into the aquarium.  He was caught after being spotted making a dash for an open door.

Orangutan Plans Great Escape from Adelaide Zoo

Jamming a stick into the wires of the electric fence surrounding her, Karta, a 27-year old orangutan, short-circuited the system. She then piled up debris near the concrete and glass wall and climbed out. However, after literally sitting on the fence for half an hour, she decided to go back in the enclosure after all.

Wily Prairie Dogs Escape New Exhibit at Maryland Zoo

Ten minutes after the opening of a new $500,000 prairie dog exhibit, the clever rodents found multiple escape routes.  Climbing and jumping over the walls, the prairie dogs had zoo workers in a frenzy chasing after them with nets.

Chimp Escape at the Chester Zoo

Thirty chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure at the Chester Zoo in England.  They made their way into a food preparation area and had the feast of their lives.

Harbor Seal Makes Trek into a Cape Cod Hatchery

Although this is less of an escape and more of a break-in, we had to include it. A young harbor seal was discovered in a state fish hatchery in the town of Sandwich in Cape Cod, where she had her pick of delicious trout to eat. What makes the story so interesting is that the seal would have had to waddle on land for 2 miles, including stretches on the boardwalk and through a tunnel under a busy highway, to make it into the hatchery.

Harbor Seal

Baby Otters at SeaWorld Orlando

Four Asian small-clawed otters were born at SeaWorld Orlando three weeks ago. Bred as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan, Asian small-clawed otters are threatened in the wild by habitat destruction, hunting, and pollution. In the wild, they live in the rivers, creeks, estuaries and coastal waters of Southeast Asia, from northern India to southeastern China, the Malay Peninsula and parts of Indonesia.

Photos: Jason Collier/SeaWorld Orlando

For more info:

Famous YouTube Otter Dies at Age 20

Nyac, the otter shown in a popular video holding hands with another otter, Milo, at the Vancouver Aquarium, passed away on September 23rd.  Nyac was one of the last surviving otters rescued from the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in 1989.  She died at age 20 from chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

For more information, visit the Vancouver Aquarium’s sea otter page.