Otter pups — all boys — get a clean bill of health

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SEATTLE — Woodland Park Zoo’s four Asian small-clawed otter pups received their first wellness exam and were given a clean bill of health by the zoo’s animal health team. Veterinarians also confirmed that all of the pups are males and range in weight from 1.2 to 1.4 pounds.

The pups were born June 11 to 8-year-old father Guntur and 4-year-old mother Teratai, the first offspring for the pair. For additional photos, visit the zoo blog.

Because otter parents, and any older siblings, play an active role in raising young pups, the parents and new family have been living off view in the otter den.

Introductions to the outdoor exhibit are around the corner once they pass a swimming test said Pat Owen, a collection manager at Woodland Park Zoo. “The swim lessons start off slowly. We’re letting mom and dad teach at their own pace and comfort level,” explained Owen.

The pups are showing the first signs of playing. “They’re not running or chasing yet, but pouncing and chewing,” said Owen. “They eat, they play and they sleep, much like 12-week-old puppies.”

When the otter pups make their public debut, zoo-goers can enjoy the family at the new Bamboo Forest Reserve, which opened in May. The new exhibit marked the first phase of a dynamic, new exhibit complex at the heart of Woodland Park Zoo. With the community’s continued support, the zoo will be able to complete fundraising for the second phase of the exhibit complex, which will bring new homes for Malayan tigers and sloth bears at the zoo. Visit www.morewonder.org for more information on supporting the next phase.

Zoo summer hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. For more information, visit www.zoo.org.