Featured Image Credit: Georgia Aquarium via Facebook
By Emily Persico
Alaska SeaLife Center is the only facility in Alaska that can provide a permanent home for animals unable to be released back into the wild. Rescued and rehabilitated, natures outcasts are able to find a forever home here in an environment that is both safe and stimulating.
This spring, Alaska SeaLife Center found a northern sea otter pup in need of a forever home. The pup was found at just five weeks old, abandoned and deeply in need of a mother’s love.
Since then, the sea otter has received around the clock care, and animal care professionals have travelled all the way from the Georgia Aquarium to get the job done. A pup like this one would usually spend three to six months under the care of its mother. Led by her example, a pup learns to swim, groom and hunt on its own, to become real, functioning adults that can reach all of life’s challenges.
Unfortunately, this pup was not so lucky. While its mother was out hunting for food for her young one, something happened. While we cannot be sure what the cause of her disappearance was, wildlife professionals predict that such disappearances will increase in frequency as ocean waters change and become more acidic.
When a sea otter mother is absent, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organizations step in to take on her role. Alaska SeaLife Center and Georgia Aquarium are committed to feeding the pup every three hours, providing routine veterinary exams, grooming him daily, and easing him into the water while he learns to swim.
Sea otters are IUCN Endangered. Much of their endangerment is a result of human-caused threats, including entanglement by fishing gear, pollution, and oil spills. On top of this, killer whales are also natural killers.
To learn more about northern sea otters, visit our source.