Squeaks in a nest box greeted the otter keepers at the Santa Barbara Zoo on October 7: “That’s how we knew Gail had given birth,” said Michele Green, the Zoo’s Curator of Mammals. Three new Asian small-clawed otter pups joined the world just over a week ago, born to popular swimmers Gail and Peeta, the zoo announced today. The pregnancy was only detected recently when her keepers realized Gail was due any day.
The tiny otters are healthy, but won’t leave their behind-the-scenes enclosure until they can safely swim and eat solid food, perhaps by mid-December. Gail came in March from the Greensboro Science Center in South Carolina and was born in 2013; Peeta was born in 2008 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The Santa Barbara Zoo hasn’t had otter pups since 2011, when six were born to Jillian and Bob, who also had a litter in 2010. They are all now at the National Zoo.
Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens