Alaska, Announcements

Alaska SeaLife Center Sea Otter Rescue

The sea otter was treated twice in September for treble hook injuries.
The injured sea otter was treated and tagged at ASLC before being released back in the bay.

Mid September both the United States Coast Guard and concerned citizens called the ASLC Stranded Marine Animal Hotline to report a young sea otter in the marina with a treble hook embedded in his mouth. With USFWS permission, the Wildlife Response Team tracked the otter for a few days before they were able to safely retrieve him Tuesday, September 19th.

The sea otter was transported to the Alaska SeaLife Center for medical assessment, but upon arrival the hook thankfully fell out. Director of Animal Health, Dr. Carrie Goertz, and Senior Veterinarian, Dr. Pam Tuomi, still treated the wound and examined radiographs of his stomach and intestinal track to ensure no part of the hook was consumed. 
Upon examining the sea otter, ASLC staff noticed that he was the same weight as the injured otter recovered from Resurrection Bay at the beginning of September. He also had a scar on the left flipper exactly where the treble hook and fish line had been removed from the previous otter. It was determined, upon these findings, that this was indeed the same sea otter! The team decided to attach flipper tags for easy identification since this otter was a patient at the Center already twice in September. 
After he was treated and tagged, the team took him back to the bay for release. He recovered quickly and swam around at ease, similarly to his first release earlier in September.

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If you see a sea otter in Resurrection Bay or boat harbor with light pink and tan flipper tags labeled 54 and 413, please contact the Alaska SeaLife Center if a hook is embedded in him or he is injured. ASLC staff want to be able to identify the otter easily if he experiences another injury, but we do not need to be informed if you spot him and he is healthy. Please do not approach or pick up injured wildlife. CALL FIRST! 1-888-774-SEAL. Wildlife Response activities such as these are made possible by generous contributions from multiple supporters including BP, ConocoPhillips, SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Fund, and PetZoo. All wildlife responses are authorized activities by USFWS LOA/MA 73418B and NOAA/NMFS/AK Stranding Authorization.

 

 

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