Take a sweet Mothers Day moment to check out how this doting river otter takes her baby to the water’s edge for its first swimming lesson.
The video shows a 13-year-old North American river otter Tilly teaching her four-month-old pup to swim—and although completely normal, the techniques can look quite drastic to humans.
Mo was born to the rescued otter in late January and only took his first dip in April, with a lot of help from his mum.
Becca Van Beek, zookeeper at the Oregon Zoo explained that, shockingly, swimming doesn’t come naturally to river otter pups, they have to be taught by their mothers.
“So far Tilly’s been an amazing teacher. It might look kind of scary to a casual observer, but it’s a very natural behavior.
“Baby otters are extremely buoyant, so Mo has built-in water wings for his swim lessons.
“This is how baby otters learn to swim in the wild and it’s exactly what we’ve been hoping to see.”
Mo, named after the Molalla River in Clackamas County, is the first river otter to be born at the Oregon Zoo.
Both Tilly and the pup’s father, B.C., are rescue animals who had a rough start to life.
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Due to habitat loss, river otters are considered rare outside the Pacific Northwest so Mo’s birth was especially important.