Five 'rambunctious' otter pups born at Columbus Zoo

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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium experienced a “winter baby boom,” as they describe it, with the arrival of five Asian small-clawed otter pups.

All five, three males and two females, were born in the early morning hours of January 26, the zoo said in a press release. Each weighs between 1.2 to 1.4 pounds. They were born to first-time parents, Gus and Peanut. 

Zoo officials said the pups are healthy and vibrant and gave the public a glimpse of the energetic otters in a Facebook video. All were playing in a small, orange bowl of water. They are learning to swim with their parents but must practice. 

The zoo wrote in its Facebook post, “they like to warm up by wading in their small orange tub…Animal care staff note that mom Peanut and dad Gus are doing fantastic with having their paws full with five rambunctious pups.”

They are expected to be on view for the public later this spring after they become stronger swimmers. The Asian small-clawed otters are native to coastal regions in southern India and Southeast Asia but are at risk when it comes to habitat destruction, pollution, and hunting, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

The zoo also welcomed a silvered-leaf langur baby and a Humboldt penguin chick.