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Springfield Park District Announces Baby Otter Pups Born at the Henson Robinson Zoo



[Springfield, IL] – The Springfield Park District is excited to announce that the Henson Robison Zoo has 3 new residents to help celebrate our 2024 Opening Weekend!

The animal care staff discovered the new additions during their morning checks. Both parents, Bobby, father, and Noodle, mother, were observed to be attentive and playing their parts as otter parents of the three pups, meaning Dad is a silent observer. The sex is undetermined currently as staff is giving the family unit time to acclimate and bond. Animal care staff will continue to monitor the newborns to ensure they are being well cared for by their mother. Pups were inspected by the Zoo Director and Zookeepers and weights were taken.

North American river otters are semi-aquatic mammals, with long, streamlined bodies, thick tapered tails, and short legs. They have wide, rounded heads, small ears, and nostrils that can be closed underwater. The fur is dark brown to almost black above and a lighter color underneath. It is dense and soft, effectively insulating these animals in water. North American river otters occur throughout Canada and the United States. River otters can tolerate a variety of environments, including cold and warmer latitudes and high elevations. They seem to be sensitive to pollution and disappear from areas with polluted waters. River otters are born swimmers….well not quite. At about two months they will be encouraged to take the plunge. NA River Otters can hold their breath for up to 8 minutes and dive up to 60 ft!

This exciting news would not be possible without the generous support of the following partners and sponsors: Park Board President and Trustees, Springfield Zoological Society, and Central Illinois Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers

Contact: Doug Hotle
Date: February 22, 2024
Phone: (217)- 585-1821


For more information on this topic and any other Park District news related items, please visit the website at www.springfieldparks.org. For further zoo information please contact: Doug Hotle/Zoo Director at 217-843-0360 or dhotle@springfieldparks.org