Just one week old and weighing in at just over one kilo, this tiny female otter pup was found on on Coastways Beach in California on September 30.
A local Californian was on an evening walk when they heard the newborn otter’s cry and quickly notified The Marine Mammal Centre.
The centre’s staff promptly contacted Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program but scientists decided that the pup could not be retrieved that evening because of the remote location and impending nightfall.
The next morning upon visiting the place of the reported sighting the pup was still found to be there and was assumed to have been orphaned.
Scientists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Sea Otter Program responded immediately to recover the pup and transport her to Monterey Bay Aquarium.
“On arrival at Monterey Bay Aquarium, 681 weighed 1.0kg, which is tiny for a newborn sea otter, and she had been separated from mom for at least 16 hours. This meant it was critical that we begin to get calories into her as quickly as possible,” said Karl Mayer, Animal Care Coordinator for the Sea Otter Program.
The Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program has been helping recover the threatened southern sea otter since 1984. The program works with other aquariums and wildlife rescue facilities to respond to every sea otter that comes ashore in distress along the California coast.
The female pup has been receiving round-the-clock care from Shedd’s animal care specialists, since arriving there last week and is learning how to be an otter.