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3 adorable otter pups born at Henry Vilas Zoo

Three otter pups were born at the Henry Vilas Zoo.
Three otter pups were born at the Henry Vilas Zoo.(Henry Vilas Zoo)
Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 10:27 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - There’s a new proud parent at the Henry Vilas Zoo! Keepers announced one of its otters gave birth to three pups several weeks ago and they appear to be doing well.

The new mommy otter, Elva, gave birth to the triplets - two boys and one girl - on February 15, according to the zoo. As North American river otters, they were naturally named after three rivers in Wisconsin: Lily, Montello, and Fisher.

“We are beyond excited to welcome these pups,” Zoo Manager Johanna Soto said. “Triplets can be demanding, especially for a first-time mom, but Elva has been doing great and they have been growing at a very health rate from day one.”

Otter pups are born blind and helpless, the zoo explained. They don’t even open their eyes for about five weeks and, since they were born around February 15, that means they should be getting their first glimpse of the world about now.

Elva will take care of the pups herself, as female otters solely raise their offspring, according to the zoo. Their father, Dragonroll, likely won’t meet them until the triplets start swimming which should be happening soon.

Three otter pups were born at the Henry Vilas Zoo.
Three otter pups were born at the Henry Vilas Zoo.(Henry Vilas Zoo)

“Elva is proving to be an excellent mother. And her close relationship with her keepers has allowed us to keep an eye on the pups every step of the way,” Soto continued.

Zoo director Ronda Schwetz added that while otters do typically have between one and three pups at a time, “it’s rare for a first time mom to this well with three babies.”

The public won’t be allowed to see the new otter pups just yet. Zoo staff plan to wait until they are strong swimmers before putting them on display.

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