PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS4) – The votes are in, and two baby otters now have names after a public vote.

More than 10,500 people voted to name two five-week-old otters at the Oregon Zoo.

Say hello to Nehalem and Nestucca.

Mom Tilly had the pups five weeks ago. The female pup, Nehalem or Nellie for short, was named after a river that flows 120 miles down from the Coast Range to Nehalem Bay. The male, Nestucca or Tucker for short, is named after a forested river near the coast, known for its steelhead and salmon.

“For river otters, we like to choose names based on local waterways,” said Julie Christie, senior keeper for the zoo’s North America section. “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.”

Mom Tilly was named after the Tillamook River and was found orphaned near a creek in 2009 when she was about four months old.

Keepers say the pups are doing well, and right now weigh around three pounds each.


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