Monterey Bay Aquarium Exhibits Youngest Otter Yet
February 14, 2012
Just in time for the Valentine’s Day hype, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will debut the youngest sea otter pup ever taken in by the Sea Otter Research and Conservation program.
The eight-week-old otter hasn’t yet been named and is simply known as 572. The pup will be put on display in the two-story otter exhibit for the first time with experienced surrogate mother, Joy, on Tuesday.
The stranded pup was just two weeks old and weighed less than six pounds when he was found on a beach in Cayucos Jan. 5. Suffering from a laceration on his shoulder, biologists believe he may have lost his mother to a great white shark attack that he narrowly escaped himself.
The tiny otter pup has gained nine pounds in the six weeks since arriving at the aquarium and staff say he is, “a robust, healthy and developmentally normal pup.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given permission for the aquarium to raise the otter, but the animal has been deemed non-releasable. The pup will be given a name and placed in a permanent, accredited facility later this year.
Photo courtesy Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder