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Photos, video: Adorable sea otter pup under care of Vancouver rescue organization

She's so young she doesn't even have a name yet

The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Society (VAMMR) has a very adorable patient right now.

A very young sea otter pup, under a month old, was rushed to the centre earlier this week and is now under 24/7 care at the centre on Burrard Inlet.

"The otter has received fluids and an initial physical exam," states the organization in a press release. "She is currently being provided a specialized formula which she is readily eating. The veterinary team is cautiously optimistic as her condition is stabilized."

Rescued from the Island

Lindsaye Akhurst, VAMMR senior manager, says the young pup was found in a small cove near Wickaninnish Island and Tofino. The pup was rushed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans from the west coast of Vancouver Island to Vancouver on Tuesday, June 18.

"She hadn't been around or seen with the mom for a significant amount of time," Akhurst says.

Cared by Marine Mammal Rescue staff and volunteers

The young pup, or neonate, is stabilizing at the centre now with around-the-clock care from a staff member and volunteer, a specialized crib, constant airflow (so that she doesn't heat due to her thick fur and summer temperatures) and all the sleep she wants.

"She's getting bottle fed every two hours; she's a baby, she eats, sleep and repeat," says Akhurst.

She even falls asleep when she gets groomed by her caretakers (who have to play the role of her mom).

Solid foods may be on the menu soon, but not quite yet says Akhurst.

Currently, she's also teething and beginning to play with toys a little bit; sea otters typically spend six months with their mothers in the wild, so they grow up fast.

The otter's future

Akhurst says it's unclear what the young pup's future holds; right now the focus is on her care. She'll be on 24-hour care for several months and at the end of that time it'll be decided whether to release her into the wild or if she'll spend life under human care.

Previous sea otter pups that came into the centre, like Quatse in 2021 and Joey in 2020, have gone on to live at the Vancouver Aquarium.

In the short time, beyond simply making sure she's ok, the VAMMR is looking at what to name the adorable little otter.

"She does need a name, but we want to make sure it's perfect for her because she has a lot of personality," says Akhurst, noting they'll be turning to social media to ask for help.

To make sure she's able to be cared for properly, the VAMMR (which recently became a not-for-profit) is raising money.

"We are just in the process of looking for a new washer and dryer," Akhurst says.

"We are accepting donations to support her rehab. We've got a generous donor who's done a match for us; so she's donated $25,000," she adds. "If somebody is donating a dollar it's worth $2."

Video: Meeting the adorable baby sea otter at the VAMMR

@vancouverisawesome The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue is taking care of a cute sea otter pup. #seaotter #marinemammalrescue #vancouver #vancouveraquarium #vancouverbc #otter #ottersoftiktok @Marine Mammal Rescue ♬ Cute - Audiolist Productions
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