ASLC Admits Sea Otter Pup Patient Found on the Side of the Road in Kenai
September 7, 2023

The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) admitted a female northern sea otter pup to the Wildlife Response Program on September 4, 2023. This pup joins an extensive roster of 2023 patients cared for by the ASLC, including ten harbor seals, a fur seal, a walrus calf, and more. 


The otter pup was found stranded on a road in Kenai, Alaska, over 5 miles up the Kenai River from the ocean. The original spotter believed the otter was a cat, but called the police when they discovered it was a young otter. Officials worked with the ASLC as the pup was moved away from the dangerous road, which was about half a mile away from the river.


The female pup was estimated to be around three months old, and her mother was not found in the vicinity. ASLC staff knew she needed help and received permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bring her back to the ASLC for rehabilitation. 

The main concerns found by the ASLC veterinary team upon the initial admit exam were dehydration and malnourishment. The pup’s blood glucose levels were low, and her feces indicated she had been stressed and had not eaten in a while. The team is currently providing stabilizing treatments and examining the patient further to understand the severity of her condition.

Northern sea otter mothers invest a lot of maternal care into their pups and will not leave their pups unaccompanied except to dive for food. Mothers provide almost constant care until the pup weans between three to six months of age. When a sea otter pup is admitted as a patient to the ASLC Wildlife Response Program, it requires 24/7 care from our team. 


“Young otter pups like this one need constant care and attention. At this age, they are transitioning from their pup coat to their adult coat and also being weaned. They need assistance grooming and monitoring their nutrition during this critical time. That is why sea otter pups require 24/7 care from ASLC staff until they are about six months of age,” said Wildlife Response Curator Jane Belovarac. 

Follow the ASLC on Facebook and Instagram for more updates on this year’s rescue patients as the team works to nurse them back to health. 

From September 10-16, 2023, ASLC will hold “Roundup for Wildlife Response,” an online fundraiser for the ASLC Wildlife Response Department. The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only institution in Alaska authorized to rehabilitate marine mammals. Followers can tune in for a special week filled with never-before-seen wildlife response stories on the ASLC social media pages from September 10-16, 2023. Every donation of $25 or more to the ASLC Wildlife Response Program during the “Roundup for Wildlife Response week will receive a limited edition Wildlife Response sticker in testament of their support.  

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