The Seattle Aquarium has hosted its biennial Sea Otter Conservation Workshop since 1999. What began as an intimate gathering of about 50 biologists has grown into an international event with over 120 attendees from locations including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and Russia.
In early August, a sea otter pup was reported stranded on Rialto Beach, on the outer coast of Washington state. A male, the pup was estimated to be about three weeks old and was in critical condition; very thin and weak.
In August of 2011, three Aquarium staff members participated in a Washington sea otter capture effort with partners from U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Monterey Bay Aquarium in a range-wide, three-year federal study of sea otter health and their nearshore environment titled “Coastal ecosystem responses to influences from land and sea.”
Sekiu, the young sea otter born at the Aquarium last winter, is now at the age where—if she lived in the wild—she would be on her own, no longer dependent on her mom. Weaning occurs naturally in the wild but animals in the care of humans sometimes need a bit of help.
Ice toys are an important part of the Aquarium’s enrichment efforts, providing fun and development for the marine mammals in our exhibits. These enrichment efforts also provide us with the opportunity to educate our visitors and enhance their experience at the Aquarium.