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June 3, 2016
Alaska SeaLife Center To Celebrate World Oceans Day with Opening of New Nose 2 Nose Underwater Exhibit

Seward, Alaska (June 2, 2016) – Healthy oceans are vital for marine wildlife, and Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) will join people around the world on Wednesday, June 8—World Oceans Day—to bring renewed focus to that message and the day’s theme: Healthy oceans, healthy planet. To celebrate this event, ASLC will open its new underwater viewing exhibit, Nose 2 Nose: imagination and science will take you everywhere, provide fun activities for the whole family, and offer membership specials on June 8 and every Saturday in June.

June 3, 2016
ASLC Extends Hours for Summer Visitors, New Sea Otter Encounter Tour Added

SEWARD, ALASKA (May 27, 2016) - Longer days mean more time for fun in Alaska, and beginning today the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is extending its hours to help guests make the most of them. Summer hours from May 27 to September 4 are:

April 22, 2016
ASLC shifting 98% of the Center's heating needs from fossil fuel to ocean water as source heat

Ground breaking CO2 refrigerant heat pump system first to replace oil/electrical boilers in U.S.A.

March 15, 2016
Sea Otter Pups From Kachemak Bay and Cordova Latest in Record Breaking Trend

Veterinarians at ASLC express concern heading into 2016 stranding season
Seward, Alaska (March 14, 2016) - Veterinarians at the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) say there is every indication that 2016 will be another record year for their Wildlife Response Program following admission of two sea otter pups in the past month.
 
Already this year the non-profit organization, which is the only permitted marine mammal wildlife rehabilitation entity in Alaska, has recorded 80 reports alone involving otters, and that is before the summer stranding season has even begun. That number compares with a total 300 otters reported to the Center in 2015, 116 of which became cases the Center was directly involved in, peaking last September at a rate 16 times higher than for the same period in 2014.
 
Otter EL1620 was received into the Center from Cordova on March 7, following on the heels of otter EL1616, a pup stranded in the Kachemak Bay area. While sea otter EL1620 was observed to be a healthy size and weight, its stranding location and other factors raised concerns for the ASLC Wildlife Response Team who ultimately determined to admit EL1620. Pup EL1616 was observed in waters off Homer, appearing malnourished with other signs of stranding and an imminent threat of killer whales surrounding the pup.
 
Sea otters under six months require 24-hour watch. Typically ASLC staff expect to be on 24/7 duty during the summer stranding season; however, over the past ten month period the ASLC Wildlife Response Team has been on the mandatory 24-hour watch continuously with the exception of 21 days.
 
According to ASLC veterinarian Carrie Goertz, there is a general increase across all causes of otter deaths and there are some indications that something new may be exacerbating the situation.
 
“It’s hard to say how much impact the uptick in algal blooms or the El Nino pattern is having,” says Goertz. “However, the feeling is that it must be having some impact which is distressing since both are expected to continue this year.”
 
Currently the ASLC has six sea otters in residence. With the beginning of the stranding season later this spring, staff fully anticipates the trend to continue.
 
The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only permanent marine rehabilitation center in Alaska, responding to wildlife such as seals, walrus and sea otters. The Center’s Wildlife Response Program responds to sea otters with the authorization of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Once a sea otter is admitted to the Center, it is closely monitored by the veterinary and animal care staff at ASLC.
 
Alaska SeaLife Center President and CEO Tara Riemer explained, “We have no federal or state funding to care for sea otters, and we rely on donations to keep this program going. We especially thank individual Alaskans all around the state as well as Shell Exploration and Production and ConocoPhillips Alaska for their generous contributions to the Center in support of wildlife rescue and oil spill response readiness.”
 
The Alaska SeaLife Center operates a 24-hour hotline for the public to report stranded marine mammals or birds, and encourages people who have found a stranded or sick marine animal to avoid touching or approaching the animal. Call first! 1-888-774-SEAL.
 
 
About the ASLC
 
Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. It generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit www.alaskasealife.org.
 
High resolution photos and full story available from media@alaskasealife.org; 907-224-6397.
 
 

March 14, 2016
Adorable Otters! ASLC Announces Otter Encounter Tours

Seward, Alaska (March 10, 2016) - The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is inviting visitors to get a closer look at the adorable and charismatic sea otters currently in residence at the Center, including a tiny fur ball of a pup. This is the first time the public can view these otters.
 
Each of the otters was admitted to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Program after being stranded in various locations across Southcentral Alaska as far back as July of last summer and as recently as March. The ASLC, a non-profit organization, is the only permitted marine mammal wildlife rehabilitation entity in Alaska.
 
In addition to viewing from the Center’s general admission areas and “I.Sea.U.” overlook, for a limited time this spring, the sea otters are the latest animals to be added to the list of ASLC Animal Encounter Tours.
 
“I tell people who come to see the otters, don’t worry about how cute they are, let me tell you how cool they are,” says Emmy Wood, an ASLC mammalogist who specializes in otter care.
 
The 30-min Otter Encounter Tours are led by expert animal care givers from the ASLC and are suitable for ages 6 and up. Visitors will learn more about sea otters, a highly specialized keystone species in the marine ecosytem. Participants will also have the opportunity to join animal care givers to observe a feeding or animal enrichment session in the outdoor otter pool.
 
Young otters are entirely dependent on their mothers for up to nine months. Admitting the tiny patients to the Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Program means standing in for otter moms to provide constant care for the duration, teaching them all the skills they need to survive from basic potty training and grooming – and the laundry that goes with that – to teaching the otters how to forage for food.
 
ASLC general admission is $21.95 Adults (13+), $19.95 Seniors (65+), $11.95 Child (4-12), Free for 3 & under. Alaska resident and U.S. military discounts avaialable. Otter Encounter Tours cost $24.95 per person for adults (13 and older) and $19.95 per person for children ages 6 -12 in addition to general admission. Minimum age for Otter Encounter Tour is 6 years old. Maximum of 12 people per tour. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Limited space available. To book a reservation please call our Reservation Hotline 1-888-378-2525 or email visitaslc@alaskasealife.org. Proceeds from admission and tours support the work of the ASLC, a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium.
 
About the ASLC
Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. It generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit www.alaskasealife.org.
High resolution photos and full story available from media@alaskasealife.org; 907-224-6397.

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