KURE BEACH, N.C. (WNCN)—Three Asian small-clawed otter pups have reached to important milestones at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Officials with the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher said the pups reached two milestones of “exploring shallow water and eating solid foods.”

And the otter team with the aquarium has been preparing the Otters on the Edge habitat for the pups to test it out on Wednesday.

“We’re excited for them to test the waters to find out if they are ready to explore their home in Otters on the Edge. These pups have come a long way since being small and fragile when they were born. The Aquarium team is looking forward to sharing them through the public habitat as soon as they are ready to emerge and spend time there,” said Shannon Anderson, otter keeper, NCAFF.

And officials said that the otter parents have been attentive to the pups. Officials shared that “papa otter Quincy has been introducing them to water. He also began sharing his clams, smelt and shrimp with them.”

The director for the NCAFF shared how supportive the community and visitors have been of the otter pups.

“It has been heartening to receive so much incredible support and love for the otter pups from visitors, the community, and our staff. We’re all counting down the days to when they will emerge, and visitors can share in the excitement of seeing them in the habitat. It is up to them, so there is no certainty that visitors will have an opportunity to see them in Otters on the Edge,” said Hap Fatzinger, director of NCAFF.

Officials said there is no timeline for when the pups will make their public debut, and as the pups depend on their parents, they may remain “behind-the-scenes” for a time.

For more information on the North Carolina Aquarium Fort Fisher, click here.