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Video: Two more rescued sea otter pups arrive at Vancouver Aquarium

The aquarium is holding a name-the-otters vote for the two pups until Nov. 17

One of two sea otter pups peer outside its enclosure Nov. 2, 2016, the day after it arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Wanyee Li / Metro Order this photo

One of two sea otter pups peer outside its enclosure Nov. 2, 2016, the day after it arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium.

It’s sea-otter central at the Vancouver Aquarium these days. Two rescued pups arrived Tuesday to make for a total of six sea otters at the centre.

The nine-month old male and eight-month old female were nursed back to health at the Alaska SeaLife Center but will now become permanent residents at the Vancouver Aquarium.

They are already making themselves at home, said marine mammal curator Brian Sheehan.

“We were pleasantly surprised at how well they acclimated themselves to the habitat that they’re in right now,” he said.

“The girl, she was really checking things out and trying to find out what kind of mischief she could get into.”

The pups weigh about 12 kg each and are eating a diet of clams, capelin, and squid.

Wanyee Li/Metro

The pups weigh about 12 kg each and are eating a diet of clams, capelin, and squid.

The three adult sea otters, three-month-old Rialto, and the new pair live in separate enclosures that have linking doors. The doors are closed for now but the animals can see, hear, and smell each other.

The long-term plan is to be able to open all the doors some day, said Sheehan.

“Socialization of the animals is really important,” he said.

“We look for animals that will be compatible size wise and also from a personality disposition wise. Some animals tend to be more rambunctious than others.”

Rialto is now three months old and is doing well say Vancouver Aquarium staff.

Vancouver Aquarium/Contributed

Rialto is now three months old and is doing well say Vancouver Aquarium staff.

When asked why there have been more rescued sea otters pups this year, Sheehan said researchers are not sure at this point.

“From a research point of view, we want to know why so many otters are stranding.”

Lean years can mean more abandoned pups, he said.

“Sometimes mothers, if they determine that from a nutritional point of view or for other reasons, its best to leave their pup and wait for [another] the following year, they’ll just leave them.”

Abandoned pups are deemed non-releasable because they do not have the skills to survive in the wild, he said.

The two sea otter pups have come a long way since they were found (separately) stranded on the Alaskan coast, say Vancouver Aquarium staff.

Vancouver Aquarium/Contributed

The two sea otter pups have come a long way since they were found (separately) stranded on the Alaskan coast, say Vancouver Aquarium staff.

The aquarium is hosting a vote to determine what to name the pups. People can pick from three names for each otter online and the aquarium will announce the winning names on Nov. 17.

Anyone who votes will be entered into a draw for a visit with the pups. 

A nine-month-old male and eight-month-old female sea otter pup play in the Finning Pool at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Wanyee Li/Metro

A nine-month-old male and eight-month-old female sea otter pup play in the Finning Pool at the Vancouver Aquarium.

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