Monterey Bay Aquarium 'Super Mom' Sea Otter Dies
August 2, 2012
Quite literally there is no more Joy today at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The 14 year old sea otter, Joy, was euthanized yesterday due to illnesses from old age. The Aquarium community is deeply saddened by the event, according to a press release.
Joy is the second surrogate sea otter mother, along with Toola, to have died this year at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Joy was not just any sea otter at the Aquarium, she was the crown of the surrogacy program, where she raised 16 sea otter pups. She raised more pups than any other surrogate mother, deeming her the “super mom” at the Aquarium, says Karl Mayer, animal coordinator for the sea otter program.
Joy was not only a critical component of the sea otter rescue efforts, where most of the pups she raised were released back into the wild, but the staff appreciated her for her character. “She would certainly respond with an attitude – a snort, hiss, snarl, or some very vigorous grooming,” said aquarium veterinarian Dr. Mike Murray.
Photo of Joy with pup Kit; photo credit: Randy Wilder