Baby Otter Duo Wiggle into the Great Outdoors for the First Time at London Zoo
Guests enjoying a visit to the ZSL London Zoo might spy baby otters Bubble and Squeak in their outdoor habitat
You "otter" know that you might be able to sneak a peek at the new baby otters living at the ZSL London Zoo.
The two Asian short-clawed otter pups, nicknamed Bubble and Squeak, have started exploring their outdoor habitat with their parents Pip and Mathilda.
Born on April 15, the duo has spent the past few weeks bonding with their parents in their behind the scenes indoor habitat (called a holt), but have recently ventured into the great outdoors under the watchful eyes of Pip and Mathilda. During these outdoor explorations, mom and dad shepherd the pups around the exhibit to make sure they don't stray too far.
"We set up cameras to monitor their progress, and were overjoyed when we spotted Pip and Mathilda finally carrying them outside — otter pups don’t leave the family holt for at least the first six weeks of their lives, so they’re perfectly on schedule," ZSL London Zoo senior zookeeper Laura Garrett said.
The sex of each pup is still unknown. Keepers will learn this information during the baby otters' first health check. The zoo has held off on health checks so far to allow the family of four time to bond. Even though keepers haven't met the pups up-close yet, they are already in love with the new arrivals.
"Bubble and Squeak caused so much excitement when they arrived in April: the first animals born at the Zoo during lockdown, they boosted the morale of our hard-working zookeeper team and everyone has been waiting eagerly for them to emerge from their holt ever since," Garrett said.
After a three-month closure due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, ZSL London Zoo reopened on June 15. The zoo is taking precautions to keep visitors safe and allow for social-distancing. To visit the zoo, all tickets must be booked in advance at ZSL.org. The zoo is also limiting the number of visitors allowed into the park and has temporarily put other precuations in place, like contactless entry, take-away food only, one-way trails, and additional handwashing stations.
"Both Pip and Mathilda are very paws-on parents and have been devoted to their pups, barely leaving their side — we're so pleased that the Zoo has reopened in time for the public to see the whole family start to playfully explore together on their private riverbank," Garrett added.