'Adorable' River Otters Triplets Born to First-Time Parents at Henry Vilas Zoo in Wisconsin

A special trio of North American river otters has arrived at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin.

On Monday, the zoo announced on Facebook the debut of river otter triplets. The two males, Montello and Fisher, and the female, Lily, were all born on Feb. 15 to first-time parents, Elva and Dragonroll. The zoo named the baby otters after three of Wisconsin's rivers.

"We are beyond excited to welcome these pups," Zoo Manager Johanna Soto said, according to WMTV. "Triplets can be demanding, especially for a first-time mom, but Elva has been doing great, and they have been growing at a very healthy rate from day one."

Alongside the post, the zoo shared sweet photos of the otters, one of which featured a colorful sign that celebrated the animals' exciting arrival. "Born February 15, 2020, introducing Montello, Lily, Fisher," the sign read.

Determining when the triplets' mother, Elva, got pregnant is challenging to tell, the zoo said, because female otters go through a process called delayed implantation, which occurs when a fertilized egg is not immediately implanted in the uterus. River otters can delay implantation for more than 270 days. Once the egg is implanted, gestation is approximately 60 days.

Otter pups are born blind, and their eyes remain closed until they are around five weeks old, the zoo shared.

Lily, Montello, and Fisher will be raised solely by Elva and won't be introduced to their father, Dragonroll, until they can swim. Swimming lessons begin at around six to eight weeks.

"Elva is proving to be an excellent mother. And her close relationship with her keepers has allowed us to keep an eye on the pups every step of the way," Soto said in the zoo's statement.

Guests interested in seeing the otter triplets must wait until May when they are strong enough swimmers to be out on exhibit.

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