Molalla the Baby River Otter Gets Swimming Lessons From His Mom

At the Oregon Zoo in Portland, North American river otter mom Tilly teaches her 2-month-old baby Molalla how to swim. Zookeeper Becca Van Beek states, “A lot of people don’t realize it, but swimming doesn’t come naturally to river otter pups. They have to be taught to swim by their moms, and so far Tilly’s been an amazing teacher.”

“It might look kind of scary to a casual observer,” Van Beek said. “She’ll grab Mo by the scruff of the neck and dunk him in the water. But that’s a very natural behavior. Baby otters are extremely buoyant, so Mo has built-in water wings for his swim lessons. This is how baby otters learn to swim, and it’s exactly what we’ve been hoping to see.”

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