Sea otter pup, stranded on Kasilof Beach, improves steadily ASLC staff expect to move the pup to the “I.Sea.U” in the near future
September 28, 2017

Seward, Alaska (September, 28 2017) – A male sea otter pup rescued from Kasilof Beach was admitted to the Alaska SeaLife Center on Thursday, September 7th. The lone pup was observed on the shore covered in sand. With the support of local residents, ASLC’s Wildlife Response Team responded.

Upon approval from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the pup was transported to the Center where he was examined by ASLC veterinarians. “Thankfully this weakened pup appeared to be suffering from dehydration and malnutrition and not from a severe physical trauma,” said Dr. Kathy Woodie, staff veterinarian.

Estimated at two months of age, the pup is progressing well under ASLC’s 24 hour care. According to Lisa Hartman, Husbandry Manager, “He’s improving, but his condition is guarded. We are cautiously optimistic with his improvement. The first weeks after admittance to the Center are always the most critical.”

Taking care of a sea otter pup this young is labor intensive as in the wild they normally remain dependent on their mothers for care and knowledge until six to nine months. ASLC’s Wildlife Response Team steps into the role of mother to teach grooming skills and feed him every three hours. Savannah Costner, an Animal Care Specialist explains, “Grooming is an essential skill for sea otter survival. Here at ASLC, the grooming process from wet to dry takes about one and a half to two hours. We separate the thick fur with combs to find wet spots and use towels and hair dryers, set on cool, to dry him out.” While the pup is currently out of public view, he is expected to soon be moved to the I.Sea.U where he will be visible to visitors of the Center.

ASLC President and CEO Tara Riemer explains, “We have no federal or state funding to care for sea otters, and we rely on donations to keep this program going. During Sea Otter Awareness Week, we especially thank individual Alaskans all around the state as well as our corporate partners - BP, ConocoPhillips, SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, and PetZoo Alaska - for their generous con­tributions to the Center in support of wildlife rescue.”

The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only permitted marine mammal rehabilitation center in Alaska, responding to wildlife such as seals, walrus, and sea otters year round. The Center’s Wildlife Response Program responds to sea otters with the au­thorization of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Alaska SeaLife Center operates a 24-hour hotline for the public to report stranded marine animals, 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.

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