NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A family of otters is bonding after a trio of new Asian-clawed pups met their three sisters this week.
The staff of the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher said parents Leia and Quincy brought the trio of new pups out of the nest. The newborns had kept a distance from their older sisters in the first week to allow the parents to bond in the nest.
Upon meeting, Stella, Mae, and Selene, born in May, helped out their newborn siblings by “fluffing their wood wool nest,” staff noted in a social media post Thursday.
It is mom Leia’s second successful pregnancy and delivery in less than a year; the gestation period for otters is 68 to 72 days. The otter team first noticed a single otter born while Leia was in labor Tuesday, Jan. 31.
The 4-year-old mom is one of 13 breeding female otters in the United States’s Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan Program, according to the aquarium.
The AZA SSP program helps support new pups’ survival, as they’re a vulnerable species. Asian small-clawed otters are native to Indonesia, southern China, southern India, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines.
The pups won’t be on view to the public until they pass a multitude of milestones over the upcoming four months.
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