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Prospect Park Zoo welcomes Valentine's Day otter pup

The river otter was born on Feb. 14 and has just reached the age where he will spend time outside the birth den.

A brand new adorable face at the Prospect Park Zoo will have you making some "otter" plans this Memorial Day weekend.

The Brooklyn zoo announced that a North American river otter pup — who has yet to be named — has made his public debut.

The otter was born on Valentine's Day and just reached the age where it will spend time outside of the birth den, where it stayed with its mother until it was fully developed.

River otters are born toothless, with closed eyes and will start eating solid foods at about two to three months. During this age the pups also have their first encounter with water and quickly adapt to the semi-aquatic lifestyle of the otters.

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The otters — which are part of the weasel family —tend to live in habitats including inland wetlands, marshes and coastal areas.

The Wildlife Conservation Society's Prospect Park Zoo breeds the river otters as part of the Species Survival Program and the exhibit where the otters live is a naturalistic representation of the animal's natural habitat.

In the early 1900s, the populations ofboth sea and river ottersdeclined drastically mainly because offur trapping, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Conservation practices that have improved the water quality and adjustedhunting and trapping have helped to restore otter populations throughout the country.

 

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