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Rescue & Rehab Journal
Northern Sea Otter
March 31, 2016
June, 3rd 2016
The US Coast Guard reported female northern sea otter pup EL1629, approximately 23 days old, floating near their boat off of Homer, Alaska on March 31, 2016. Being a dependent pup with no mom in the area, she proved a good fit for Alaska SeaLife Center's Wildlife Response Program. Due to her young age, condition of dehydration, and need for antibiotics, ASLC staff and veterinarians gave 24-hour monitoring and intensive care for two weeks. With the unique capacity of the response program to provide ongoing care, this young pup was able to gain weight, is now eating solid foods such as clams and squid, and is learning how to dive in pools. She is thriving and will continue to receive the greatest care until she is placed in her permanent home.
October 25, 2016
October, 25th 2016
EL1616 along with EL1629, known affectionately as Little Boy and Little Girl, are in great condition. They are thriving and strong, and on track for one day being placed in their forever home—a facility to be identified by the US Government—together, as they have spent the majority of their time since coming to the Alaska SeaLife Center. While the goal for most animals entering ASLC’s Wildlife Response Program is release back to the wild, sea otters must continue to stay in a residence facility due to the need for hand feeding and nurturing back to health. With the happy status of being healthy and fit, the next step for EL1616 and EL1629 is independence training. Since EL1629’s arrival at ASLC last March, the two have spent most of their time together and are very attached. While their strong bond is beneficial to both and indicative of healthy otter behavior, it is also important that both learn independence, resilience, and adaptation to change. For that purpose, the two are learning to spend time apart, which is not always what they would like, especially being the equivalent of toddler age, but will ultimately benefit them when they must travel separately and encounter new surroundings.