"He really likes to just hang out," Scott added about Nick's personality. "We live out in the country so he likes to come with us when we go biking along the canal. At the end of the day, he’s just a dog."
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has four new Asian small-clawed otter pups running around their facility.
The adorable little otters — two males and two females — were born on Dec. 28 but had been kept behind the scenes with the rest of their family to give them time to grow and develop. On Tuesday, they made their official debut via a YouTube video shared by the zoo. The zoo is temporarily closed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens welcomed the birth of two male and two female Asian small-clawed otter pups. This is the second birth for the species at the Zoo and parents Carlisle and Harley,” the zoo shared.
According to the zoo, Asian small-clawed otters typically remain in their dens for several weeks after birth to sleep and nurse, and they don’t even open their eyes until they are over a month old. The zoo’s youngsters now weigh more than a pound each at twelve weeks old.
“The animals miss visitors,” Kelly Rouillard, zoo director of marketing and sales, told ABC affiliate First Coast News. “They notice that visitors are not here, so the dedicated animal care team is coming up with fun and innovative ways to provide enrichment to engage animals.”
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Caregivers said they were “happy to report that mum and baby are thriving.”
“Their home is in an area that isn’t plagued by heavy predation and thanks to the lush conditions, water and, plentiful grass, it is a good place to call home,” they added.
Officials explained that they plan to take care of the pair until the animals are discovered by a zeal, or a herd of wild zebras, as the species are highly social and typically live in groups.
“Until that day comes, they seem quite content to spend their days grazing side-by-side, a sight that makes us all stop and marvel at the wonders of nature,” officials wrote.
According to the trust, the foal is expected to live a normal life. However, since it is a mule, it will be unable to successfully breed once it reaches maturity.
“Working with wildlife, one learns to expect the unexpected,” officials with the trust wrote. “Even the most seemingly straightforward story can eventually reveal its true stripes and end up surprising us all.”