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Jun-19-2014 05:40printcommentsVideo

Oregon Zoo Almost Ready for Public to Meet Juno

The 5 month old Juno met 16-year-old Thelma for the first time on Monday, under the watchful eye of keepers.

Juno Oregon Zoo
The 5 month old Juno met 16-year-old Thelma for the first time on Monday, under the watchful eye of keepers. Photo Courtesy: Oregon Zoo

(PORTLAND, Ore. ) - Oregon Zoo visitors might get to meet a new otter soon.

Juno, the rescued sea otter pup who has been settling in behind the scenes at the Steller Cove habitat, had her first meet-up with one of the zoo's two elderly otters this week — and keepers say the pair got along swimmingly.

"The introduction went very well," said Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey, the Oregon Zoo's senior marine life keeper. "Based on the behavior we saw today — mutual respect for one another — we think they'll be ready for a public debut very soon."

The 5 month old Juno met 16-year-old Thelma for the first time on Monday, under the watchful eye of keepers.

"They make a striking pair," Nicassio-Hiskey said. "Juno's much smaller than Thelma and has rich brown fur over her entire body, whereas Thelma's fur has turned white around her face and neck. She's 16, which is considered elderly for a sea otter, but she's spry — very energetic and playful."

Thelma was enjoying a seafood breakfast — shrimp and clams — when keepers first gave Juno access to her area.

"She didn't react much until Juno came over and touched her rear flipper," Nicassio-Hiskey said. "At that point, Thelma bear-hugged her and started sniffing her all over. She held Juno tightly and swam her around the pool and under the water. Juno had several opportunities to swim away, but she kept going back to Thelma."

The two otters played around a ramp in their pool for a while, poking their paws at each other through holes in the grating.

Source: Oregon Zoo

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