Otter pups go swimming at the Oregon Zoo

PORTLAND, Ore. (CNN) – River otter pups at the Oregon Zoo are getting swim lessons from mom.

Born in late February, Nellie and Tucker started taking their first dips into the water this week.

According to zookeepers, their mother Tilly begins each lesson by carrying her pup to the water’s edge and plunging in.

Then she grabs them by the scruff of their necks and dunks them in the water.

But don’t worry, baby otters are very buoyant. So Nellie and Tucker have built-in water wings for their swim lessons.

Once threatened by fur trappers, North American river otters are now considered rare throughout most of the U.S., also due to habitat destruction and water pollution.

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