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Animal Rescue Alert: Abandoned Sea Otter Pup Now In Vancouver Aquarium

Animal Rescue Alert: Abandoned Sea Otter Pup Now In Vancouver Aquarium

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First Posted: Sep 21, 2016 04:42 AM EDT
Sea otter
Sea otters are the second smallest marine mammals. James Brooks / Flickr CC BY 2.0

Good news for animal lovers: Rialto, the abandoned sea otter pup rescued in Washington State, has now moved to its permanent home. At present, it receives proper care at the Vancouver Aquarium.

CBC News reported that in August 1 this year, the sick and emaciated sea otter pup was found and rescued. It was washed up in Washington State and was taken to the Seattle Aquarium. There, it received 24-hour care from a team of Vancouver facility specialists. According to Dr. Martin Haulena, wild sea otter pups have low rates of survival. Haulena is the Vancouver Aquarium head veterinarian.

But the good thing is that Rialto seems to be surviving. Yesterday, it came to Vancouver; and now, it is set to meet other sea otters namely Tanu, Elfin, and Katmai. Rialto still has to learn survival skills though. Sad to say, it never had the chance to learn such skills from its mother.

According to Vancouver Sun, the Vancouver Aquarium stressed the fact that newborn sea otters are naturally helpless. In the first few weeks, a mother is supposed to carry the pup on her tummy for feeding and grooming. Likewise, the mother usually teaches it some skills like searching for food, swimming, and diving. Because Rialto was not able to learn those skills, officials said the sea otter pup is non-releasable. But despite this, it is expected to learn how to swim in a larger pool.

In the time being, a live webcam will enable some fans to follow the progress of Rialto. The aquarium likewise set up a crowdfunding website to help other sea otters.

As defined by the Defenders of Wildlife, sea otters belong to the weasel family. They are the heaviest members of the group, but are the second smallest marine mammals. In the animal kingdom, sea otters possess the densest fur that ranges from 250,000 to one million hairs per square inch.

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