March 16, 2013
Julie Christie, senior North America keeper at the Oregon Zoo, examines a baby river otter born Jan. 28 to Tilly. After several weeks of consideration, keepers at the zoo decided to call the pup “Molalla,” or “Mo” for short, after the Oregon river. “A lot of North American zoo animals get their names from nations or cultures associated with their native habitats,” Christie said. “For the river otters, we like to choose names based on local waterways.” Mo’s mother was named after the Tillamook River. Mo is the first river otter to be born at the Oregon Zoo. He and his mother have a private, off-exhibit maternity den, but keepers say visitors have shown a lot of interest in the new arrival, even though they can’t see him yet.