Endangered Otter Pups Debut at Jacksonville Zoo

Mar 19, 2021

Three giant otter pups have made their debut at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. 

The pups were born in October, but staff have been monitoring the family behind the scenes until this week. The two females and one male are the second litter of giant otters born at the zoo. 

Giant otters are the rarest mammal in South America and have been endangered by hunting and habitat loss, according to the zoo. 

The new pups’ father, 13-year-old Buddy, was born in Guyana, but after he was blinded in an accident, he could no longer survive in the wild. Mother Sarave came to Jacksonville from the Miami Zoo in 2018. 

“Buddy’s second litter with Sarave is a huge success for the captive population,” said Dan Maloney, Deputy Zoo Director for Animal Care, Conservation and Wellness. “We were elated to celebrate the first pups and now we are even more excited to welcome their siblings. 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.” 

Credit John Reed

Two of the pups have been named Ken and Annie; the third pup hasn’t been named yet. You can visit them and their one-year-old siblings, Aiden, Eleanor, Olivia, and Coker, in the Jacksonville Zoo’s Emerald Forest Aviary at the Range of the Jaguar exhibit.

Tickets are available at JacksonvilleZoo.org.

Contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org, or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.