Four adorable baby otters at the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center need new names -- and the public's help is needed to help find the perfect monikers.
Four North American river otters, one female and three males, were born the weekend of Feb. 16 at Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center to parents PB & J, or Peanut Butter & Jelly.
Now, the Aquarium’s newest residents need names – and the public is invited to help.
Ten name choices have been decided upon: Cayenne, Nutella, Butter, Jam, Fluff, Sage, Paprika, Rye, Basil, and Tank.
The public can vote on their favorite name by visiting the Aquarium’s Facebook page through Sunday, April 14; the winning four names announced on Monday, April 15.
In addition, the Blue Duck Bakery Café will be creating a commemorative “Otterly Yummy” peanut butter and jelly cupcake that will be available through April 15 at its Riverhead location. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Riverhead Foundation, to help preserve and protect the marine environment through education, rescue, rehabilitation, and research.
The otter pups, which have whiskers and webbed feet, were discovered in February during a routine visit inside the Otter Falls exhibit.
The pups are not yet ready for their big debut to the public; they remain behind the scenes with their mother and are nursing and sleeping.
The pups will not be out on view for the public until they start moving around on their own. Otter pups nurse for up to four months and are not expected to move on their own for a month, staffers said. Their father, Peanut Butter, is still on exhibit.
According to Aquarium staff, the North American river otter, or Lontra canadensis, is at home in the water and on land.
Once abundant in the United States and Canadian rivers, lakes, and coastal areas, the North American river otter can today be found in parts of Canada, the Northwest, upper Great Lakes area, New England, and Atlantic and Gulf Coast states.
Members of the weasel family, river otters enjoy sliding down muddy and snowy hills, bouncing objects on their paws, playing tag, and wrestling.