You can help name these adorable otter pups at NC aquarium. Here’s how to cast a vote

·2 min read

On the last day of January, Leia the Asian small-clawed otter went into labor. Within a few hours, she welcomed three adorable otter pups: a girl and two boys.

The otter family are residents of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, and veterinarians have been tracking the otter pups’ growth since the announcement of their birth on Feb. 1, sharing progress reports on social media.

Now, as the pups prepare for their big public debut, the aquarium is asking for help in giving them names.

Voting is going on now on the aquarium website and will close at noon on Friday, March 24.

A group of aquarium volunteers put together the naming ballot, offering five sets of names that would hold significance for the pups.

Asian small-clawed otters are found in the wild in southern India, southern China, Indonesia the Philippines and other parts of southeast Asia, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. They live in streams, rivers and marshes and can grow up to 2 feet long, half of which is their tail.

The otters are also a vulnerable species, threatened by development, deforestation, illegal pet trade, pollution, climate change and poaching, Wilmington Magazine reported.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is helping to educate the public about these animals, one fluffy, snuggly pup at a time.

Voters can choose from the following options for the newest otter arrivals, with the name followed by its meaning:

Option 1:

  • Mazu, Chinese goddess of sailors and travelers

  • Indus, river in India

  • Lu, from a Buddhist practice originating in China

Option 2:

  • Gemma, gem and precious stone

  • Kai, sea, shell, warrior

  • Ren, purity, lotus, perfection

Option 3:

  • Tala, Tagalog goddess of stars

  • Alon, Tagalog for wave

  • Bayani, Tagalog name meaning hero

Option 4:

  • Rani, queen

  • Lei, strong, masculine

  • Aki, bright hope

Option 5:

  • Li, Chinese name for strength or beauty

  • Ryu, Asian name meaning dragon

  • Bo, Chinese name meaning precious

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