A tiny sea otter pup rescued by boaters after possibly being lost or abandoned is receiving 24-hour care at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
The pup, estimated to be less than a month old, came to the aquarium after boaters found him swimming alone in open water off Vancouver Islandon Sunday. They waited for an adult otter to appear before removing the pup from the water.
The pup requires constant care, including feeding, bathing and grooming, say aquarium officials.
“Sea otters … spend about six months with mom, nursing, being groomed by her and learning to forage and be a sea otter, so this little guy is still a fully dependent pup,” Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, told Fox13 News.
The aquarium, which also posted a video of the pup getting a bath earlier in the week, warns in a Facebook post against removing animals from the wild.
“Once they’re removed from the wild it’s impossible to determine if the mother is alive and if they could have been reunited, or if bringing them in was the appropriate action,” the post says. The aquarium advises anyone who finds what appears to be a stranded marine mammal to call a rescue center for assistance.