Featured Image Credit: The Daily Otter
Talk about a cute meeting! This week in Vancouver, there was a very special introduction. Vancouver Aquarium’s two youngest sea otters met for the first time. And cuteness ensued. Rialto, 16 months, and Hardy, 5 months, hadn’t crossed paths before their introduction as Hardy is being introduced to the other rescued otters one by one. Hardy had already met 13-year-old Tanu and five-year-old Katmai. He will be introduced to other otters as time passes.
The two otters hit it off from the start, giving each other curious sniffs and gently wrestling in the water. Both otters have laid back and playful personalities, so it’s no surprise that this adorable union was a success. Trainers at the aquarium say they both adapt to new situations well, so they weren’t worried about running into problems.
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Rialto and Hardy both came to Vancouver at very early ages. Rialto was discovered on a beach in Olympic National Park in Washington in August of 2016. He was stranded and sick and his mother was nowhere to be found. It took six weeks of around the clock care at the Seattle Aquarium to get Rialto back on his feet again before he was transferred to his forever home in Vancouver.
Hardy was found by boaters off the coast of Vancouver in June 2017 when he followed their boat and vocalized. No adult sea otters were in the area so they brought him on board and informed the officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who then arranged the transfer Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Center.
Because both pups were abandoned by their mothers so early, they depended on human intervention to keep them alive. And since their mothers weren’t around to teach them survival skills in the ocean, they were both deemed unreleasable. All six of the otters at the Vancouver Aquarium fall into this category and will spend their days in the lap of luxury, being cared for by professionals.
To find out more about Hardy, Rialto, and the other four sea otters at the Aquarium, head to their website, http://www.vanaqua.org. If you’re in the area you can catch talks and even have encounters with the sea otters if you think you can handle the cuteness.