Showing posts tagged as "sea otter research and conservation"
Meet Abby the Otter!
On June 12 a new sea otter named Abby went on exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The 44-pound, five-year-old female otter was rescued as a newborn on July 21, 2007 by the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Rescue Center and was hand-raised at SeaWorld San Diego, with guidance from our staff. There, she became a popular exhibit otter.
Abby was transferred to the Aquarium June 11, where she spent time acclimating behind the scenes. You can see her on exhibit now or on our live web cam!
Our young female otter, Kit, was transferred to SeaWorld at the same time we received Abby. Why the switch? We’re hopeful that five-year-old Abby will develop into a surrogate for the many pups we rescue and return to the wild as part of our Sea Otter Research and Conservation program. “She’s the right age, and has already displayed maternal behavior,” says Christine DeAngelo, the Aquarium’s associate curator of marine mammals. Having another surrogate on board is particularly important following the death of our veteran sea otter mom, Toola, from old age in March.
What’s Abby like? Reports from SeaWorld indicate that she’s patient with aquarists and very trainable. She likes to play with artificial kelp, take ice baths and eat frozen treats. She also grew attached to towels as a young pup. She likes being touched on the head, chest and back, and even waits at the door before feeding sessions!
We look forward to having her on exhibit, and we hope you get a chance to see her.
Otter 572 Goes to a New Home
Rescued otter pup number 572, who went on exhibit on Valentine’s Day (February 14) of this year, went behind the scenes on May 29 to prepare for his eventual transfer to the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn.
Otter 572—so named because he’s the 572nd stranded sea otter to be brought into the Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation program—was found stranded January 5 on a Cayucos beach (San Luis Obispo County) as a two-week-old pup weighing less than six pounds.
The young otter had a laceration on his shoulder, possibly the result of a great white shark bite that may have killed his mother. He was admitted to the Aquarium’s veterinary intensive care unit, then eventually introduced to surrogate mother Joy. The pair did great on exhibit, and the two have now been replaced by female otters Mae and Kit. Joy is temporarily behind the scenes. Don’t worry, she’ll be back!
Why is otter 572 going to a new home? Our exhibit otters are all female so we don’t have room to house a male. (In the wild, females and males rarely live together. Instead, they live separately in “rafts”—a group of sea otters—except when mating.) So 572 will go to the New York Aquarium, which is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. We’re working closely with the New York Aquarium’s staff to ensure that the transfer is smooth and the otter is well cared for.
We wish 572 great success in his new home. Meanwhile, you can enjoy Mae and Kit on exhibit when you visit—or via our live web cam!