Sea otter pup progressing well under Alaska SeaLife Center care. Members of the public may view pup in the Center’s “I.Sea.U” unit
May 10, 2017

Seward, Alaska (May 5, 2017) – The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is inviting visitors to see wildlife response and rehabilitation in action.
A tiny sea otter pup is now receiving 24-hour care in the Center’s “I.Sea.U” area where members of the public may observe the pup being cared for by animal care specialists. Estimated to be three weeks old when it was admitted to ASLC’s Wildlife Response and Rehabilitation Program on March 18, staff say the pup is progressing well.
“This little otter pup shows every indication of thriving under our care,” said Dr. Kathy Woodie, staff veterinarian at the Alaska SeaLife Center. “He is eager to groom himself, is turning himself over in the water and has learned to dive.”
Young otters are entirely dependent on their mothers for up to nine months. Admitting these young patients to the Center’s Wildlife Response and Rehabilitation Program means standing in for otter moms to provide constant care for the duration, teaching them all the life skills they need to survive. Good grooming to maintain a healthy coat is particularly critical to otter health.
Initially the Center’s staff worked to rehydrate the pup, get him started on otter pup formula and administer around-the-clock supportive care. The pup has continued to hit expected developmental milestones including weight gain. Soft foods like clam have been integrated into his diet. He is experiencing typical pup teething and associated sore gums. His coat and overall body condition are currently very good. The otter pup is the second of two marine mammals to be admitted to the Center since early March. Responders say they are watching this season carefully to see if the new trend in strandings continues resulting in year-round concern for an issue that had been predominantly seasonal prior to 2015.
“Over the past two years, we have experienced a significant increase in total calls to our wildlife response hotline and in cases requiring action from our team,” said Tara Riemer, ASLC President and CEO. The Alaska SeaLife Center, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is the only permitted marine mammal wildlife response and rehabilitation entity in Alaska. Over 80% of the funding for the Center’s wildlife response program comes from charitable contributions. “We especially thank individual Alaskans all across the state, our visitors and corporate sponsors at BP Alaska, ConocoPhillips, PetZoo and GCI for their generous contributions to the Center in support of wildlife rescue,” said Riemer.
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.
High resolution photos available from; 907-422-7075.
About the Alaska SeaLife Center: Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) 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 or find us on Facebook.
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