Twin spotted-necked otter pups born at Toledo Zoo - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Twin spotted-necked otter pups born at Toledo Zoo

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The Toledo Zoo has just announced the birth of spotted-necked otter pup twins. (Courtesy of Toledo Zoo/Mary Beth McConnell) The Toledo Zoo has just announced the birth of spotted-necked otter pup twins. (Courtesy of Toledo Zoo/Mary Beth McConnell)
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Twin spotted-necked otter pups were born Jan. 21 at the Toledo Zoo. Their genders are currently unknown, as the zoo's animal care staff allows them to bond fully with their mother before they are handled. The pups will remain off exhibit until later this spring, when they are able to swim in the deeper water of their public exhibit.

Nationwide, only eight North American zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums exhibit spotted-necked otters. This is only the second litter of spotted-necked otters in the last five years among participating zoos; the first litter was also born at the Toledo Zoo in 2012

Spotted-necked otters are a relatively new species for the Toledo Zoo. The pups' parents arrived in late spring 2012 for the opening of Tembo Trail.

In Africa, spotted-necked otters live in clean, unsilted freshwater habitats where prey is abundant. They rarely venture more than 30 feet from the water's edge. While their webbed paws make land travel look awkward, they are some of the strongest swimmers in the otter species.

African spotted-necked otters are common or fairly common in ideal habitat, but their populations are declining. Their biggest threat is loss of habitat through increased agricultural activity, as well as contamination of the waterways they depend upon for survival.

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