Monday, June 24, 2024

New litter of otter pups need names, aquarium opens voting

The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher staff wants to hear from the public when it comes to choosing the names for the new otter pups. (Courtesy photo)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A second litter of otter pups born in a year are crossing new milestones and are in need of names.

The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher staff wants to hear from the public when it comes to choosing the monikers for the two males — both with canine teeth who are working to open their eyes — and one female, the most vocal of the crowd. According to the aquarium, she is also seeing the world and adjusting to her surroundings, often “giving the otter team the side eye.”

This is the second time in a year the public has been asked to name a litter of otter pups. Mom and dad Leia and Quincy had siblings Stella, Mae and Selene last May. Submissions last summer garnered 14,000 votes from the public.

The Asian small-clawed otters, native to Indonesia, southern China, southern India, Southeast Asia and the Philippines, met their brothers and sisters last month. They will not be on view to the public until they pass milestones up to 17 weeks, when they learn to swim.

The public can vote on five groups of names for the newborn, open through Friday, March 24. V

“We are honored to have input from the volunteers at the Aquarium who researched and shared meaningful naming ideas based on the native habitat of Asian small-clawed otters. We’re sharing the top five trios of names and asking our community to vote for their favorite,” said Shannon Anderson, otter keeper of the aquarium.   

Voting can be submitted here and must include the entrant’s name and email address. Here are the suggestions:


  1. Mazu (Chinese goddess of sailors and travelers)
  2. Indus (River in India)
  3. Lu (From the Buddhist practice originating in China)
  1. Gemma (gem and precious stone)
  2. Kai (sea, shell, warrior)
  3. Ren (purity, lotus, perfection)
  1. Tala (In Tagalog mythology, Tala is the goddess of stars)
  2. Alon (Tagalog for wave)
  3. Bayani (Popular Tagalog name for males, meaning the hero)
  1. Rani (queen)
  2. Lei (strong, masculine)
  3. Aki (bright hope)
  1. Li (Chinese name for strength or pretty)
  2. Ryu (Asian name meaning dragon)
  3. Bo (Chinese name meaning precious)

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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