Zoo Invites Public to Welcome a North American River Otter Pup to the Zoo Family

Date: 
Tue, 05/18/2010

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. –— May 18, 2010 - Rizzo and DeLaney welcomed a new baby into the world on March 9, 2010. Weighing just 120 grams, or 4.2 ounces, at birth, a tiny but healthy North American River Otter named Homer became the newest addition to the Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo family. Visitors are invited to come and meet Homer during regular Zoo hours.

“At just over two months old, Homer has yet to venture out in public,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “We expect that within the week, his mom, DeLaney, will be coaxing him out to teach him to swim. If all goes well with the lessons, Homer will be swimming like a pro within a week.”
Both Mom and Dad arrived at the Zoo in 2004. DeLaney was transferred from Dickerson Park Zoo in Missouri and Rizzo from the St. Louis Zoo. The pair has since produced four litters of offspring. Currently, Rizzo, DeLaney and their new pup are the only otters in residence at the Zoo.
River otters are members of the weasel family. They prefer fish, but also will eat turtles, crayfish and amphibians.
“Though he was just a little guy at birth, Homer loves to eat and now weighs nearly four and a half pounds,” noted Dancho. “We are thrilled with his rate of growth -- he is quite the eater just like his namesake!”
These playful mammals are able to close their ears and nostrils when swimming under water. They can remain under water for six to eight minutes and use their tails and back legs to push them through the water at speeds of up to 18 mph.

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $11.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $9.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members are also admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge. For information, call: (203) 394-6565.

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About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo:
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won’t want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers, ocelots, red & maned wolves, Andean (spectacled) bears, and golden lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit http://www.beardsleyZoo.org