Three New River Otter Pups at ZooMontana

Third Litter to Be Born at ZooMontana

BILLINGS, MT - Mia, one of ZooMontana’s two North American River Otters, gave birth to three pups February 25th, becoming the third litter of River Otters to be born at ZooMontana.  Her last litter was in 2015.  Two of the pups weighed in at just under five ounces, while one of them came in significantly smaller at 3 ounces.  All three are doing well and due to their mother’s high-fat milk, the trio is gaining weight daily. 

With good progress, Zoo visitors should be able to see the pups on exhibit within a few months.  Until then, the pups and mom will be monitored and cared for behind the scenes. Zoo fans are encouraged to follow the Zoo via Facebook and the Zoo’s website for updates on the otter’s

progress. It typically takes 5 weeks until the pups eyes open. Once they learn to walk, they must learn how to swim, something their mother will teach them. Zoo Curator Travis Goebel is happy with the pup’s progress. “Mia has been a great mother from day one.  She successfully raised her first 5 pups without issue and we expect her to do the same here.” Goebel added that Mia can only stand to be separated from her pups for several minutes.  Ben, the pup’s father, has been naturally curious but has given Mia her privacy.  ZooMontana’s River Otters are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Program, a program that manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining zoo population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. 

North American River otters are members of the weasel family. They hunt at night and feed on whatever might be available. Fish are a favorite food, but they also eat amphibians, turtles, and crayfish. Otters are very sensitive to water pollution and are often the first indicators of poor water quality. 

*All Press will be invited to attend a viewing on Thursday, March 16th at 10am.* 

About ZooMontana

ZooMontana is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) educational organization committed to the best in animal care, conservation and wildlife education. As Montana’s only Zoological and Botanical Park, ZooMontana is dedicated to wildlife education and conservation. The Zoo is located at 2100 S. Shiloh Rd. in Billings, MT just off the Zoo Drive exit (443) of Interstate 90. Find the Zoo on the web at zoomontana.org and on Facebook. ZooMontana is open every day at 10:00 am


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