If you want to pause here and take a moment to figure out the best friend to call, the one who can hold your hand to ensure you don't pass out from sheer cuteness, we'll wait, because we're fairly sure that if you're a fan of aquatic mammals and baby animals, you'll need a helpful, handholding pal at your side as you proceed.
For a trio of Giant River Otter pups have just made their Los Angeles Zoo debut at the park's Rainforest of the Americas habitat.
Born in March, the two boys and one girl weren't yet ready to go fully public, so they remained behind the scenes as keepers kept a watchful eye on both babies and mom.
July 15, though, proved to be the big day when the youngsters finally joined "their juvenile siblings born in September 2014, one male and one female." Those two pups were "the first to be born at the new, state-of-the-art Rainforest of the Americas habitat since it opened in April 2014."
Family reunions are the sweetest.
The zoo says "the habitat was designed to house a large family group of these social, curious animals, and Animal Care staff is pleased that the family has grown so fast."
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As for hallmarks of this endangered South American animal, besides the obvious ability to melt hearts? Their fur is described as "exceptionally dark" as well as "dense," and their tail is "oar-like." And are their tootsies webbed, as is the otter way? You bet. (And, yes, we feel okay calling the pups' feet "tootsies," since they are still, for the moment, young'uns and demand to be cooed over.)
No, they do not have names yet, which will surely be the first question of many otter enthusiasts. Yes, if the weather is good, they may be out splashing in their habitat, where you can see them. And yes, this is a rare sight at any zoo, seeing a Giant River Otter. So we're quite sure you'll keep the magical moment in your heart always should you be fortunate enough to encounter a playful pup.
If you want to see them, they're at the animal park located in Griffith Park. If you want to see them right away please now yes need asap want, they're in this video from the LA Zoo.
photo: Tad Motoyama