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Rescue & Rehab Journal
Northern Sea Otter
February, 11, 2016
June, 3rd 2016
A citizen reported male northern sea otter pup EL1616 after spotting him close to Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. He required immediate intensive care as he was estimated to be a week old or younger at the time of admission to Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program. The team immediately shifted schedules to accommodate this dependent pup, as he required weaning to solids, extensive coat maintenance, and 24-hour care. All of the hard work and long hours from trained staff in the response program made a big difference, and EL1616 has now lost his pup coat, developed a great appetite for clams, and is diving in big pools and showing off his independent swimming skills.
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 together—a facility to be identified by the US Government—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.