USA: OREGON ZOO: NEW SEA OTTER PUP
Date: 07/01/2001 05:00 AM
Portland, Oregon - January 5, 2001
1. Various of otter swimming with baby in small pool
The Oregon Zoo has a new sea otter pup after a rare birth in captivity surprised zoo keepers.
Zoo curator Chris Pfefferkorn (Fef-fur-korn) says southern sea otters, a threatened species, typically do not reach sexual maturity until they are four years old.
The new pup's mother, named Thelma, is not quite three years old.
Pfefferkorn says zoo officials had noticed an increase in her weight even though they had cut back on her diet.
The pup was spotted on a video monitor at the new sea otter exhibit, which opened last July.
There have been only a handful of southern sea otter births in captivity since the 1970s but none of the pups survived beyond infancy.