The Dallas Zoo is debuting its newest otter pup, who was born a single litter-member. She is the first female single pup ever to survive longer than 30 days in a U.S. zoo.
Tasanee is an Asian small-clawed otter. Her name means “beautiful view” in Thai. She was born Jan. 25, to Daphne, who was almost thirteen when she gave birth, the oldest otter in the U.S. to give birth. Since she was a single pup, Tasanee required more than one hundred days of care from a team of nutritionists, veterinarians and other zoo staff.
“Single pups usually lack stimulation from litter-mates and mothers produce an insufficient amount of milk,” said zoo spokeswoman Laurie Holloway.
Since 2000, only 18 single pups have been born in U.S. zoos and the vast majority of them die, Holloway said.
“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our team,” said Dr. Lynn Kramer, vice president of animal operations and welfare at the zoo, in a written statement,“the safe birth of a single pup to the oldest otter mother to give birth has required skilled, dedicated care.”
The weight of a “C” battery when she was born, Tasanee was 2 ounces and gained weight slowly. Her weight gain had to be documented daily along with her body condition and other milestones. Keepers had to wear medical gloves so no human scent was left on her. She’s now 2.3 pounds and was introduced to the otters’ outdoor habitat last week.
“Our entire section participated in pup monitoring. We were very fortunate to have otter parents who accepted our assistance,” said mammal supervisor Linda King in a written statement. “Tasanee has a sassy survivor attitude, and we are overjoyed to see her progress.”
Tasanee is a , which can grow to 2-3 feet long and weigh five to 11 pounds. They have sensitive paws and toes with little webbing and almost no claws.
Happy Ottersday :#)