BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — This is some otter-ly adorable news: the Connecticut Beardsley Zoo is welcoming the birth of four North American river otter pups.

On March 23, after a two-month gestation period, four-year-old Tahu gave birth to a littler of four pups. Freshwater river otters give birth on land, in dens, where the pups are secluded with the mother for about an 8-week period.

The newborn pups were examined on Wednesday by the zoo’s animal care staff, who ensured that the babies are of adequate weight and health.

Otter babies | courtesy Bethany Thatcher

River otters can both run on land and swim. New reintroduction programs across the U.S. has contributed to their rising population.

While the birth is a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Special Survival Plan Program — aimed to keep a demographically stable population of healthy and diverse animals for a long-term future — the mother will still exhibit natural behaviors. She has been given space to raise her litter without staff assistance.

Tahu, who arrived in Connecticut from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle in 2020, just lost her mate, Sedge, last month. However, female river otters raise pups on their own, so Tahu will be able to take care of the newborns without their father.

“This is a great time of year to visit the zoo and witness the new life that spring brings — whether it’s new baby animals or the beautiful flowers that are in bloom,” Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said. “River otters are extremely active and playful animals so it will be a great deal of fun for guests to watch the four pups grow. We are more than grateful that Sedge and Tahu were able to produce offspring and that they are doing so well.”

Interested in seeing the otters in-person? Find tickets to the Beardsley Zoo here.