Can you find the second otter in this photo? We were SO fortunate to have a mom and pup visit us in the Great Tide Pool yesterday. Did you see them?
It’s so fluffy! This young wild otter pup is still hanging out with its mom in our Great Tide Pool!
This morning a wild mother sea otter with a very young pup has been spotted in our Great Tide Pool. Check out this great video clip for your daily dose of cuteness! Thanks to staffer Alyssa Penacho for the clip.
Otter Pup on Exhibit!
Cuteness alert! A rescued male sea otter pup went on exhibit January 21, with companion otter, Gidget. The debut of the 12 1/2-week-old makes him the sixth pup ever to go on exhibit. He’s also the 649th stranded otter to be brought into our Sea Otter Research and Conservation program since 1984.
Otter 649 was stranded in November 2013 on Jalama Beach in Santa Barbara County as a three-week-old weighing less than seven pounds. He was admitted into our veterinary intensive care unit, where he was cared for until he was introduced to Gidget. Otter 649 is now robust and healthy, weighing 16 pounds!
Otter 649 will be transferred to another aquarium accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, where he’ll learn how to socialize with other exhibit animals. That’s why, for now, this otter has a number for a name—our colleagues at the sister aquarium get to do the naming!
Otter 649 is easy to recognize due to his smaller size and uniformly black, velvet-like fur. He will remain on exhibit as long as husbandry staff continues to see positive interactions with Gidget. (This is the first pup Gidget has mentored.) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has authorized the Aquarium to raise him on exhibit and declared him to be non-releasable.
We hope you get a chance to see him!
(Photo Hannah Ban-Weiss)
Did you know that it’s Penguin Awareness Day? Why not celebrate by watching ours live? Narrated feedings at 10:30 am and 3 pm daily!
Thanks to you, things have been going swimmingly for the Sea Otter Tax Fund! Donations on state income tax forms in 2013 total $307,544. By exceeding the minimum of $273,025, the fund comes back for 2014, providing critical funding to help save sea otters. Check the box on your CA Tax Return—a donation of as little as $5 goes a long way!
(Jane Smith Photo)
Open Sea Exhibit Helps “DNA Detectives” Study Marine Life
Move over TV crime scene investigators! Marine biologists are using DNA sequencing not to solve crimes, but to study ocean communities and they used the Open Sea exhibit as their test “lab.” The ocean is a veritable soup of biological material known as environmental DNA or eDNA. Just as humans slough off skin cells that can be used as identification, so too do fish shed tissue and other biological matter that enables marine biologists to identify the type of animal. Researchers from Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions - a partner of the Aquarium - and the University of Washington extracted eDNA from water samples taken from the Aquarium’s 1.2-million gallon exhibit.
Is there love in the air? Our beautiful pharaoh cuttlefish have been actively breeding in recent days. Eventually we’ll take the eggs behind the scenes and incubate them in our amazing cuttlefish “bubbler.”
Planning to visit this Martin Luther King weekend? You never know who’ll you’ll make friends with at the Aquarium! We have special hours Jan. 18-20, 9:30 am-6 pm (9 am for members).
We’ll be celebrating #ThrowbackThursday all year in anticipation of our 30th anniversary Oct. 20. We never dreamed we’d come this far! Were you there on opening day? Let us know in the comments.