A 14-week-old orphaned sea otter is on the mend at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach after being rescued off the coast of Pismo Beach.
“When he arrived at the Aquarium a few weeks ago, he weighed about ten pounds,” Brett Long, Aquarium of the Pacific curator of marine mammals and birds, said in a statement. “He is eating well and is now up to 16 pounds.”
Care for the sea otter includes feeding him every one to three hours and setting him up with a surrogate to teach the otter skills to survive in the wild. The care is part of the aquarium’s new Sea Otter Surrogacy program, a partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which will accommodate three to four sea otter pups a year at the Molina Animal Care Center.
“Staff interaction with the orphaned otters in the surrogacy program will need to be minimal, and staff will need to wear special suits that distort the human form so these pups have a better chance at surviving in the wild,” Long said.
The baby sea otter will officially join the other sea otters in the main habitat on Tuesday, Dec. 28.