PORTLAND -- The Oregon Zoo's newest river otter pup has been learning to swim over the past several weeks and was apparently taking to the water, well, like an otter.
Officials said Thursday that Ziggy, the 3-month-old river otter pup, named for the Zigzag River, has emerged into the public's view in recent weeks and was learning to swim.
Otters need to be taught to swim, according to the zoo. So Ziggy's mother, Tilly, has been putting him through his watery paces and now is increasingly in the public's view.
The pup, born Nov. 8, has been venturing out of the confines of the family nest, away from the eyes of the public, more and more and is now growing into his name and developing a distinct personality, said Hova Najarian of the Oregon Zoo.
Photos: Zoo’s newest otter pup
Najarian said the pup spends a lot of time "zigging this way and that, and scampering away from his mom...when she tries to lead him indoors."
Ziggy’s mother Tilly, and dad, B.C. are rescue animals who had a rough start, said Najarian.
"Tilly was found orphaned near Johnson Creek in 2009," he said. "B.C. was found orphaned near Star City, Ark., also in 2009."
Since then, the river otters have been busy building quite the little family in between relentlessly slithering in and out of the waters of the zoo's Cascade Stream and Pond Exhibit.
Tilly gave birth to her first offspring in January of 2013. Molalla, or Mo for short, became the first river otter ever born at the Oregon Zoo. To top that, Mo was quickly followed by baby Ziggy on Nov. 8.
North American river otters are relatively abundant in healthy river systems of the Pacific Northwest and the lakes and tributaries that feed them, according to the zoo.
Tilly, Ziggy and Mo are now on display to the public. The zoo opens at 10 a.m. daily.