BROOKFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- The Brookfield Zoo's newest otter pup is getting some special treatment. The male North American river otter was born February 26 is doing well after animal care and veterinary staff decided it was in the best interest of the pup's well being to intervene. They said he will now be hand-reared because the pup's mom, Charlotte, was not able to provide him with the proper nourishment he needed.
Since the two have been separated, officials said it is unlikely Charlotte will accept him back as her own. Now, the Chicago Zoological Society staff is working to relocate the young otter to another institution that has other otters around the same age. They said this would give him the best opportunity for companionship and socialization.
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the otter population in Illinois was once in jeopardy, estimating fewer than 100 North American otters in the late 1980's. Officials give credit to what they consider a very successful recovery program that that breeds the otters in zoos to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population. Otters are now common and found in every county in the state of Illinois.
The Chicago Zoological Society said this is the second successful birth of this species at the Brookfield Zoo after Charlotte and her mate Ben had their first litter in 2017.
Brookfield Zoo's baby otter gets special treatment