Oregon Zoo announces otter pups’ names - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo announces otter pups’ names

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River otter pup Nellie (Courtesy: Oregon Zoo) River otter pup Nellie (Courtesy: Oregon Zoo)

The results are in and thanks to 10,500 votes, the Oregon Zoo’s newest otter pups now have names.

The female pup has been named Nehalem, or “Nellie,” and the male has been named Nestucca, or “Tucker.”

Both Nellie and Tucker were given their names after the public voted between three name possibilities for each pup. The open vote was posted on the zoo’s website at the end of March.

The otter pups are both named after regional rivers. The Nehalem flows nearly 120 miles from the Coast Range down to Nehalem Bay. The Nestucca is a forested river that flows near the coast and is known for its steelhead and salmon.

Oregon Zoo keepers said their river otters are named after local rivers in order to help raise awareness about the local otter population and its dependency on regional waterways.

“River otters are sensitive to water pollution, but we’re fortunate to live in a region that supports a healthy otter population. We want these pups’ names to highlight the importance of protecting our rivers, streams and wetlands,” said senior keeper to the zoo’s North American section Julie Christie.  

Nellie and Tucker's mother, Tilly, is named after the Tillamook River.

Keepers said the pups have both opened their eyes and are beginning to take their first steps. Each pup weighs about three pounds. 

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