: Agnes :
Species: Northern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)
  Narrative

3/4/14: Agnes now weighs 13.8 kg. ASLC Mammalogists continue to work on new and existing behaviors with her. This not only helps caretakers to manage otters with ease and minimal stress to the animal, but it also creates a stimulating and enriching environment.

9/22/13: Agnes is up to 8.2 kg, and is doing very well in the I. Sea. U. here at the Alaska SeaLife Center. She is currently learning to sit on a scale, and enter a kennel on command.

6/17/13: The female otter's umbi seems to be fully healed, she is now eating clams with ease. She is teething, so staff have been giving her frozen chew toys to soothe her mouth and discourage chewing on items in her enclosure.


6/1/13: In order to help her learn to dive, the girl has been given access to a deeper pool. While she hasn't fully dived yet, she is spending the majority of her swim time with her face in the water, and attempting to dive every so often.

5/25/13: Staff have observed a new head shaking behavior that the little girl will do when grooming herself. The Vet staff believes this is related to her molars coming in, so we have been providing plenty of teething rings and frozen toys for her to chew on.

5/23/13: Over the last few days, we have introduced small pieces of clams into the little girl's diet. Staff have been paying extra attention to her defecations to make sure she is digesting the clams properly. The clams have quickly become her favorite part of feeding time!

5/16/13: We have switched the otter from being fed every 2 hours to being fed every 3 hours overnight. She seems to be adjusting well to the increased time between meals.

5/13/13: Our little girl broke the 3 kilogram mark this week! We are very pleased to report she is gaining weight well, and has been more active during her swims and in her enclosure this entire week. The second dose of weekly antibiotic was given today, and it certainly seems to be helping!

5/6/13: A larger pool has been added to the little one's enclosure, and she has been having a blast swimming around in the shallow water. Staff are supervising all swims at this point as she is still learning to hold her breath for longer periods of time. The earlier blood draw revealed a low Red blood cell count, so the Vet staff has added a weekly antibiotic to her diet in the hopes of keeping her healthy and strong.

5/1/13: The little girl had a blood draw yesterday to track how she is doing, and she is starting to roll over in the water on her own. This is an important behavior because it keeps her coat full of tiny air bubbles that help her float. Staff have been taking pictures of her teeth so that future stranded otters can be aged more accurately by comparing their dentition to hers.

4/27/13: Several different chew toys and teething rings have been offered to the little girl, and she seems to have a few favorites. She has especially been enjoying them while staff help her groom her coat. They use a blow dryer blowing cool air so as to not overheat her, and focus on fluffing up the hair coat just like her mom would do in the wild.

4/23/13: As the otter grows, her teeth are starting to come in. Staff have been observing her and giving her chew toys and orajel to help the teething process. The discomfort from her teeth growing in has made her a little fussier with the bottle during her feeds.

4/20/13: The otter pup is now eating a 50/50 mix of formula and fluids every 2 hours. She has been a little gassy lately, so the ASLC staff has been trying to let her swim for a little longer to help with defecation and gas relief. Her temperature has been fairly stable, and her blood glucose is being tested several times a day.

4/17/13: Little girl has been suckling better and better with each feed. Sometimes, she tries to eat too fast and will sneeze some formula out of her nose, but this is not happening too often and she immediately tries to resume eating. During a physical exam staff found a puncture wound on the underside of her tail that we will watch and clean daily.

4/15/13: Our vet staff has determined that our new pup is a little girl! She seems to be a newborn, and may not have nursed from her mother, she is estimated to be only a day old. She is slowly learning to suckle from a bottle, and our staff will be with her 24 hours a day. Until she consistently eats from a bottle we will be tubing her to ensure she gets the nutrients she needs.

4/14/13: A very small Sea Otter pup was found in Tutka Bay, AK. As it was alone for several hours, ASLC staff coordinated with a water taxi to get the pup to Homer, where one of our Stranding Network volunteers Amy Christianson secured it for the drive to Soldotna. ASLC staff picked up the otter from Amy and brought it back to our Rehabilitation facility. Thanks so much to Amy and the Water Taxi company for all your help!