Look at these adorable little otter pups! The Oregon Zoo needs your help to name them.
"The little ones haven't opened their eyes yet, but they're growing fast and getting more mobile," said Julie Christie, senior keeper for the zoo's North America section. "They usually don't travel too far when their eyes are closed. We think it's time to name them before they really start to roam around."
The keepers have come up with a short list of possible names for each pup and they are inviting the public to weigh in and vote. Votes will be accepted through Wednesday, April 5 and the zoo will announce the winning names on Thursday, April 6.
"For river otters, we like to choose names based on local waterways," Christie said. "River otters are sensitive to water pollution, but we're fortunate to live in a region that supports a healthy otter population. We want these pups' names to highlight the importance of protecting our rivers, streams and wetlands."
One pup is a boy and the other a girl.
Their mother's name is "Tilly" and they weight about two pounds each right now.
For the female pup, keepers are considering the following names (and nicknames):
Abiqua (Abby): a Pudding River tributary originating in the Cascades foothills near Lookout Mountain.
Calapooia (Cali): a Willamette tributary that flows generally northwest from its source near Tidbits Mountain.
Nehalem (Nellie): a river that flows nearly 120 miles from the Coast Range down to Nehalem Bay.
For the male pup, keepers have narrowed it down to the following:
Nestucca (Tucker): a forested river near the coast, known for its steelhead and salmon.
John Day (J.D.): a Columbia tributary that is undammed along its entire 284 miles — the third-longest free-flowing river in the contiguous U.S.
Wallooskee (Skeeter): a 10-mile tributary of the Youngs River in northwest Oregon.