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Sea Otter Heads to New Home

Seward, AK - August 5, 2010 - The Alaska SeaLife Center reported today that Tazo, a 2 1/2 month old Northern Sea Otter is being transported to his new home the New York Aquarium.   

Tazo arrived at the Alaska SeaLife Center in early June after being found orphaned in Homer, Alaska.  Upon his admittance, he weighed under four pounds (1.8 kg) and it was determined that he was suffering from mild dehydration. 

Tazo, named after the popular drink, has spent nine weeks at the ASLC where he has gained more than twelve pounds (5.6kg) and is now in stable condition.  After his final health check, he has been cleared by Alaska SeaLife Center Veterinary Staff and U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFW) to leave the quarantine rehabilitation facility at the ASLC and be transported to start his new life at the New York Aquarium. 

The Alaska SeaLife Center's Stranding & Rehabilitation program admits otters with the authorization of USFW.  Once an otter pup is admitted, it receives round-the-clock care by the veterinarian and animal care staff at the ASLC.  Due to the level of human interaction necessary to successfully rehabilitate a sea otter pup, those pups cannot be released back into the wild as they are too dependent upon humans. 

Through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, a new residence was identified for Tazo.  Animal care staff from the New York Aquarium traveled to Seward, Alaska to spend time at the Alaska SeaLife Center and meet their future resident.  They will now travel, via an overnight FedEx Cargo flight, to New York to take Tazo to his new home. 

"Otters are very charismatic animals, Tazo is no exception.  He has quite a personality.  We will be sad to see him go, but know he is going to a great facility where he will help educate millions of visitors about Northen Sea Otters" says Tim Lebling, Stranding Coordinator. 

The Alaska SeaLife Center is a private non-profit research institution and visitor attraction which generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska's marine ecosystems.

For more information regarding Tazo, the rest of the stranding department or any other part of the Alaska SeaLife Center please reference the Alaska SeaLife Center web site at www.alaskasealife.org

To report a sea otter stranding in Alaska, call 1-888-774-SEAL.

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