Alaska SeaLife Center Admits Sea Otter Pup from Seldovia
August 12, 2021

The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) admitted a two-day-old sea otter pup to the Wildlife Response Program on August 8.


The female pup was found stranded on a remote beach in Seldovia by a family camping nearby. “When we enco untered this tiny creature who looked so helpless, we felt that we had to do something. We remembered hearing that the Alaska SeaLife Center helps to rescue animals in need, so we reached out. Luckily we had cell service where we were camping,” explains the pup’s rescuers, Neil Waggoner and Marisa Jaso. An adult sea otter was spotted in the area, but this animal did not approach the pup. After observing the pup for a day, the family sprung into action.


After receiving U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permission, the team at ASLC reached out to stranding partner, Michael Opheium of the Seldovia Village Tribe, for assistance. He cared for the otter overnight until she could be transported via water taxi to Homer the following day. The Homer Veterinary Clinic was called upon to administer fluids before her long car ride to Seward. 


This sea otter pup, weighing just under three pounds, arrived weak but fairly stable. The team was concerned about her initially because generally sea otter pups are very vocal, but this pup arrived more lethargic and silent. “Otter pups are very hands-on animals to begin with so seeing this young pup come out of the kennel, barely reacting to staff, was concerning. After her exam it was crucial to get some calories on board and thankfully she latched onto the bottle right away. She has been eating well since then, so I am cautiously optimistic,” states Hanna Sundstrom, Veterinary Assistant Specialist. After a few days of care, the pup has brightened, but the veterinary team is continuing to monitor her closely. 


While eight harbor seal pups are currently being cared for at the Center, this is the first sea otter pup admitted to the Wildlife Response Program in 2021. Sea otter pups require round-the-clock care so staffing will change drastically in the rehabilitation department in order to feed and groom her every two hours.

The Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program can provide care for animals like this sea otter pup because of donations from corporate sponsors and individual donors. People are encouraged to contribute to the care of this patient here: The Center acknowledges the ongoing generous support of the Wildlife Response Program from  companies like ConocoPhillips, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, PetZoo, Borman Family Foundation, GCI, and Sea Otter Foundation & Trust. 


About ASLC 

Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a 501(c)(3), non-profit research institution and public aquarium in Seward, Alaska. The Center 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

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