The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center family just welcomed its newest members over the weekend.
Four baby North American river otters were born over the weekend to parents Peanut Butter and Jelly, according to aquarium staff.
The otter pups, which have whiskers and webbed feet, were discovered Saturday 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.
Aquarium staff believe that the pups were born sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning; while it is still early days, the otter pups are believed to be doing well and are being cared for by their mother, Jelly. Their father, Peanut Butter, is still on exhibit.
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 or two, staffers said.
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.