Teaching babies to swim, oh my.

Did you know that otters have to be taught how to swim? Otter pups aren’t born with any innate knowledge of how to swim or handle themselves in the water. And since otters depend on water to survive, mom has to teach her babies how to be as home in the water as they are on land. At around 30 days old, the pups are strong enough to begin their swimming lessons although sometimes, they’re not the most enthusiastic students much like kids everywhere.

Audrey is a good mom and a patient, persistent teacher. She teaches each pup individually at first this allows her to focus her full attention on each pup and each lesson especially since its the first time the pups have been in the water. Audrey teaches the pups in stages making sure each pup is comfortable with one step before moving on to the next.

Typically, Audrey eases her pup into the water, then teaches him to float. After floating comes swimming, and the pups learn how to maneuver and swim, skills that are vital to their survival as adults. Once the pup is confident as a swimmer, Audrey teaches him to dive and move underwater. Then, she teaches each pup how to dry off and stay warm after a dip in the pool.

As anyone who has been swimming knows, swimming is exhausting! So once the pups lesson is over, Audrey carefully carries the little one back to the den where they immediately nap and get some much needed rest.

Before long, the pups are confident swimmers and well on their way to becoming the expert swimmers that all otters seem to be. And, once the pups are venturing out of the den and swimming well, Audrey will begin the group swimming lessons. Its a sight to behold and, often, simply too adorable for words.

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