Alaska SeaLife Center Admits Sea Otter Pup from Homer
The Alaska SeaLife Center admitted a two-week-old sea otter pup to the Wildlife Response Program on November 12.
The male sea otter pup was spotted by residents near a beachfront home in Homer. The good smaritans followed the proper protocols when spotting a wild animals in distress: they called the Alaska SeaLife Center after observing the otter from a safe distance for more than an hour.
The pup was vocalizing for quite some time near the water’s edge. When the tide came in, he ended up high and dry on the shore. His dire condition and lack of nearby otters spurred Alaska Sealife Center volunteers to pick him up and transport him to the Center with US Fish and Widlife Service permission.
This sea otter pup, initially weighting 5.6 pounds, arrived malnourished and dehydrated. “This pup was in critical condition when he came to us. He was so hungry that he tried to chew the nipple off the baby bottle when we gave him his first feed,” notes Elizabeth deCastro, veterinarian.
While he clearly had an appetite, the team worked to integrate formula slowly to not overwhelm his system and encourage him to eat more moderately.
After a few weeks of providing round-the-clock care for this now 8 pound pup, the staff is cautiously optimistic about his condition. “He is proving to be a very independent pup. He has been exploring his pools extensively and is already taking really good care of his coat,” says Veterinary Assistant Specialist Hanna Sundstrom.
Next steps will be to get him eating more solid food like clam and encouraging him to swim and dive in a larger pool.
The sea otter pup pops his head over the tub as he’s weighed.
Due to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s financial setbacks resulting form reduced visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center’s Wildlife Response Program is more reliant on donors than ever before to care for animals like this sea otter pup.
The Alaska SeaLife Center is grateful for the public’s overwhelming response to the Save the Center Campaign launched during the summer. More than $4 million was raised, and $2.3 million of that amount came from individual donors.
Thanks to this support, the Alaska SeaLife Center’s doors are open and the team can continue rescuing stranded and injured animals.
Generous donations from ConocoPhillips, BP, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, Borman Family Foundation, PetZoo, GCI, Partners4Wildlife, HDR Marine, Sea Otter Foundation & Trust, and Grizzly Pet Products have allow the Alaska SeaLife Center to continue its mission.
Those who would like to contribute to ensure the center continues to remain open can visit alaskasealife.org/savethecenter.
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