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Giant Otter Pups Finally Make Debut At The Jacksonville Zoo

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Three giant otter pups recently made their public appearance at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. The male and two female pups were born in October last year.

Giant Otter pups
(Image Source: John Reed/ Jacksonville Zoo And Gardens)

The first couple of months after birth is a critical stage for the weak otter pups. Luckily, the staff at the zoo have been keeping a close eye on these pups and their families.

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9-year-old Sarave and 13-year-old Buddy are the parents of these beautiful giant otter pups. Moreover, Sarave came to the zoo in 2018 and Buddy arrived in 2011 from Guyana.

Otters
(Image Source: John Reed/ Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens)

The father, Buddy, is the most genetically valuable animal of the Giant Otter Species Survival Plan. According to the Zoo, Buddy was born on the banks of the Rupununi River in Southwestern Guyana.

Moreover, Buddy is blind and was orphaned as a pup. He got another chance at life at the Karanambu Lodge and Trust. He was raised by a surrogate mother at the Lodge and Trust. The late mother, Diane McTurk, rehabilitated more than 50 giant otters during her life.

Otter pups
(Image Source: John Reed/ Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens)

If it wasn’t for McTurk, Buddy wouldn’t have been able to survive. Thanks to her, Buddy was able to flourish as a successful hunter through trips to the Rupununi River. However, Buddy was not reintroduced into the blind because he was blind.

“Buddy’s second litter with Sarave is a huge success for the captive population. We were elated to celebrate the first pups and now we are even more excited to welcome their siblings,” said Dan Maloney, deputy zoo director for animal care, conservation and wellness.

Otter pup
(Image Source: John Reed/ Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens)

“This is not only Buddy’s and Sarave’s success story, but a win for conservation of this endangered species as we strive to maintain a healthy, and diverse population,” Malony added.

Jacksonville Zoo has continued to support conservation efforts and research in Guyana. You can learn more about them on their website!

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