UPDATE: Two baby otters born at Potter Park Zoo


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Congratulations Miles, the otter pop of two new pups born Sunday at Potter Park Zoo.

The North American river otter mom, Nkeke had her second successful birth on what has been an exciting start to 2020 for the zoo which is preparing for its centennial celebration this summer.

“It has been an eventful winter at Potter Park Zoo with the birth of Jaali, an eastern black rhino, and now two North American river otters. We are excited to share these births with the community as we celebrate our centennial,” said Cynthia Wagner, Potter Park Zoo Director.

Potter Park Zoo Director of Animal Health Dr. Ronan Eustace gave the pup’s a veterinary exam on the second day of the otter’s lives.

“The pups look healthy and are nursing regularly. One pup weighed in at 106 grams and the other at 118 grams. We will continue to monitor Nkeke and the pups closely over the next couple of months,” said Dr. Eustace.

Nkeke arrived at Potter Park Zoo in the fall of 2016 and the animal care team first saw signs of her being pregnant over the past month. River otters can delay impregnation for as many as 273 days. After the fertilized egg has implanted, the pregnancy only takes about 60 days. Otter pups are born with fur on their bodies and their eyes closed. Their eyes will open around 10 days old and they will begin swimming lessons from mom sometime after they’re a month old.

Visitors can see the father Miles on exhibit now, Miles was the first otter pup ever born at the zoo in 2013. Nkeke and the pups will pop up in the exhibit in the next few months.

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