Rescued sea otter pup Hardy met another otter for the very first time last week.
Hardy, who was rescued off the shores of Northern Vancouver Island when a group of boaters spotted him following and calling out to their boat on June 25, was introduced to a 13-year-old rescued female sea otter named Tanu.
“It was a very successful introduction; even better than we anticipated,” said Kristi Heffron, senior marine mammal trainer at Vancouver Aquarium. “It took Hardy a moment or two to realize that Tanu had joined him in the Finning Habitat. Then Tanu went to Hardy and put him on her chest, just like a mother would do to her pup. There was lots of sniffing and exploring and some vocalizing – all natural otter behaviour. After a little while, we saw them both swimming, grooming, and eating independently. They’re quite comfortable together.”
The Vancouver Aquarium is inviting visitors to come and see Hardy and Tanu as they interact in the Finning Habitat and to learn more about otters during Sea Otter Awareness Week. Starting Saturday, visitors can enjoy special otter-themed programs and activities.
Visitors can get to know Hardy, spend a day in the life of senior marine mammal trainer Heffron, and learn about more threats facing otters in the wild. You can also watch Hardy and Tanu via the Aquarium’s underwater otter cam.
– Gazette staff