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Otter Pups Swimming Lesson

North American River Otters, Lontra canadensis...

North American River Otters, Lontra canadensis (per Schreber, 1777. More commonly used, but allegedly incorrect latin name: Lutra canadensis). I took the photo in San Francisco Zoo on August 29, 2005. Français : Loutre de rivière, Lontra canadensis. Image prise au zoo de San Fransisco le 29 Août 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If you’ve spent any time watching the Zoos North American river otters or our Asian small-clawed otters, youve probably noticed that otters seem almost as home in the water as most fish. But, did you know that otters have to be taught how to swim? Otter pups arent born with any innate knowledge of how to swim or handle themselves in the water. And since otters depend on water to survive, mom has to teach her babies how to be as home in the water as they are on land.

In March, Audrey, the Zoos North American river otter female, gave birth to three healthy male pups. At around 30 days old, the pups are strong enough to begin their swimming lessons  although sometimes, theyre not the most enthusiastic students  much like kids everywhere.

But Audrey is a good mom and a patient, persistent teacher. She teaches each pup individually at first  this allows her to focus her full attention on each pup and each lesson  especially since its the first time the pups have been in the water. Audrey teaches the pups in stages  making sure each pup is comfortable with one step before moving on to the next.

Typically, Audrey eases her pup into the water, then teaches him to float. After floating comes swimming, and the pups learn how to maneuver and swim, skills that are vital to their survival as adults. Once the pup is confident as a swimmer, Audrey teaches him to dive and move underwater. Then, she teaches each pup how to dry off and stay warm after a dip in the pool.




4 comments on “Otter Pups Swimming Lesson

  1. dorannrule
    February 10, 2013

    This video was adorable! Thanks for sharing. 🙂


    • Judy
      February 12, 2013

      Hi glad you liked it they are so cute aren’t they ? cheers Judy 🙂


  2. LutheranLadies
    February 11, 2013

    Don’t you just love thise little critters. I could watch them for hours. Thanks for the vid.


    • Judy
      February 12, 2013

      Yes they are so cute I have only seen them in zoos but like you I could watch them for hours cheers Judy 🙂


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This entry was posted on February 9, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , , , .

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