WATCH | Otter pups learn to swim at Oregon Zoo

Posted at 9:58 AM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 09:58:45-04

Two otters born earlier this year are learning to swim at the Oregon Zoo.

Nellie and Tucker started taking their first dips into the water this week. According to zookeepers, the mother otter begins each lesson by carrying her pup to the water's edge and jumping in.

Then she grabs them by the scruff of their necks and dunks them in the water. But 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. Habitat destruction and water pollution also contribute to it.