SEA OTTER PUP ALERT! For the next few weeks, rescued wild sea otters will be taking over our Sea Otter exhibit, including Selka with her surrogate pup!
Usually, our guests can’t see the wild sea otters in our care. We keep them behind the scenes because we don’t want the otters to get comfortable around humans.
With the Aquarium temporarily closed to the public, we have the opportunity to give these young otters access to a deeper, more complex living space during the day—these diving sessions used to happen in the evenings when the Aquarium was open.
Selka is caring for a 15-week-old pup that stranded near Pismo Beach when she was only a day old. The pair will stay together for another couple of months as she grows and continues to learn how to feed and groom.
The four juveniles, two females and two males, range in age from about 10 months to almost 18 months old.
One of the females is just about ready for release to the wild. She will receive a final medical exam to confirm everything is normal and healthy before she’s released. Staff and volunteers will monitor her daily to make sure she’s transitioning well to life in the wild. If not, we may bring her back to the Aquarium for a short period of time and then try again.
The two males both recently received their radio transmitters, which help us track their behavior and movements when they are released into the wild. That’s scheduled for the near future. The younger female will also be receiving a radio transmitter soon.
We rescue stranded pups as part of our unique sea otter surrogacy program that pairs our resident animals with orphaned pups to provide maternal care and teach them skills needed to survive in the wild. SciShow recently featured this groundbreaking program in a pawesome video:
We want to thank the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for granting us this special exception to our Marine Mammal Enhancement permit, # MA-032027 that governs our work with wild sea otters, to allow us to stream our Sea Otter Cam while these young animals were housed in the exhibit.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is a Federal agency dedicated to conserving fish, wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. As a Federal Agency we cannot endorse or oppose projects; rather we provide accurate information about the resources we have been entrusted to manage. The views expressed in this production do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service nor should any products or positions be perceived as being endorsed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Kelp keep our Sea Otter Program afloat