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Dallas Zoo’s Female Otter Becomes Oldest In U.S. To Give Birth

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Dallas Zoo's new Asian small-clawed otter pup 'Tasanee' (Photo courtesy Dallas Zoo)

Dallas Zoo’s new Asian small-clawed otter pup ‘Tasanee’ (Photo courtesy Dallas Zoo)

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DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Zoo is celebrating the successful birth of a new Asian small-clawed otter pup named ‘Tasanee’ to the the oldest female otter in the national Species Survival Plan’s breeding population to give birth.

Otter mom ‘Daphne’ was 12-years, 9-months old when her pup was born on January 25, 2014.

The pup was named Tasanee, which means “beautiful view” in Thai. Dad Jimmy, 8, was born at the Dallas Zoo in 2006.

Due to the survival rate for single otter pups being extremely poor, Tasanee needed more than 100 days of devoted care from her keepers according to the Zoo.

“This has definitely been a group effort; we collaborated with our nutritionist, veterinarians and zoo colleagues,” said Linda King, mammal supervisor. “Our entire section participated in pup monitoring. We were very fortunate to have otter parents who accepted our assistance. Tasanee has a sassy survivor attitude, and we are overjoyed to see her progress.”

Tasanee weighed just a little over 2 ounces at birth, about the size of a “C” battery. She now weighs in at a healthy 2.3 pounds, and was introduced to the otters’ outdoor habitat last week.

Since 2000, only 18 single pups have been born in U.S. zoos, and 76% have died. Tasanee is the first female single pup to survive longer than 30 days.

Below is a video from the Zoo showing Tasanee with her parents as they teach her to swim in the ponds for the first time.

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