Leaving home is never easy…even for an otter

Zigzag the one year old river otter from Oregon Zoo will soon embark on the next step of his life journey. On March 16 he will move to Seattle to live at the Woodland Park Zoo.

Ziggy as he is known by keepers was born on November 8 2013. He weighed just a quarter of a pound and couldn’t walk or see. His mother, Tilly was the responsible for keeping him alive for the first few months of his life.

“It’s been great watching little Ziggy grow up,” said Julie Christie, senior keeper for the zoo’s North America section. “Otter pups in the wild usually stay with their mom for about a year before striking out on their own, so the timing for this move is right.”


Once he could walk Ziggy lived up to his name racing around and being a handful for his mum. He is named for a river flowing down Mount Hood that goes through the Zigzag canyon. He often scampers away from Tilly when she wants to lead him inside.

The older brother of Ziiggy, Molalla was not nearly as adventurous. He was quite famous though with a video of his rough and tumble swimming lessons racking up 740,000 views on the zoo’s YouTube channel.

“Human parents often notice that the second child is much more independent,” Christie said. “We definitely noticed that with our second otter. As soon as Ziggy started walking, he was on the go. He’s a little motorboat.”

Keepers are sad to see Ziggy go but they are happy that he will still be in the Northwest. They are already making their plans to go see him in Seattle. Staff from Woodland Park Zoo have also agreed to send regular updates.

You can watch a video of the pup engaging in his swimming lessons below:

Photo Credit: Oregon Zoo

By Cale Russell

TheAnimalFacts.com is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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