Abandoned otter pups quickly become friends at Oregon Zoo

Two adorable orphaned otters became fast friends.

The Oregon Zoo welcomed the new residents: two river otter pups. Both the male and female otter babies were found on separate occasions. Wildlife officials said they wouldn’t have survived on their own.

In a video posted on the zoo’s Facebook page, they arrived at the zoo’s veterinary center over the weekend. Video showed when they first met, and immediately sniffed each other out, and started playing for the majority of the nearly four-minute video.

"They started playing as soon as we introduced them," said zoo veterinarian Dr. Kelly Flaminioin a statement. "The smaller pup ate like a champ, and is more interested in solid foods than formula. The female only wanted to play."

The female pup was found wandering a construction site near Gold Beach. Officials at Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center said the otter could not be reunited with her mom and contacted Oregon Zoo. The young otter weighs about 3.5 pounds.

The male pup was found with a respiratory infection near a golf course in McMinnville. He was temporarily with the Turtle Ridge Wildife Center before arriving at the Oregon Zoo. 

"Our preference for them would have been rehab and release," said Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo's Great Northwest exhibit. "However, wildlife officials said that was not possible so we're happy we could give them a second chance. We have a good track record with orphaned otters. Our adult otter, Tilly, was also rescued as a pup, and she's helped raise an orphan as well."

Now, the pups are getting the attention they need at the Portland-based zoo. When they begin gaining a healthy amount of weight, zoo staff will introduce them to Tilly, who is raising four of her own offspring.