Hardy has moved from The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre to a nursery at the Vancouver Aquarium.
The sea otter pup was found alone and rescued by boaters on Northern Vancouver Island on June 25.
He first received care in Port Hardy, before being transferred to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at the Vancouver Aquarium.
“Hardy has been doing really well; he’s hitting all of his developmental milestones and thriving,” said Kristi Heffron, senior marine mammal trainer at Vancouver Aquarium. “He’ll continue to receive 24-hour care here at the Aquarium as he transitions to eating solid foods and learns how to groom himself independently, swim in deeper water, and interact with the other otters.”
Hardy was estimated to be between two to four weeks old when he was admitted to the rescue centre.
Newborn sea otters are completely reliant on their mothers and stay with them for about six months before they have the skills to survive on their own.
Because Hardy was so young when he arrived at the rescue centre he was not able to learn the skills he needs to survive on his own, so Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has decided he’s non-releasable.
“We’re excited to introduce Hardy to otters Rialto, Mak, Kunik, Katmai, and Tanu, as well as to our visitors in time. But right now, we’re focused on helping him settle into his new home,” said Heffron.
Although visitors to the aquarium can’t yet see him in person, the Vancouver Aquarium has set up a live-stream from Hardy’s nursery. Now, anyone with an internet connection can follow Hardy’s progress via the baby otter cam at www.vanaqua.org/babyottercam.
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre works under authorization from DFO to rescue, rehabilitate and release more than 150 animals each year; for every patient, the goal is to treat, rehabilitate, and return it to the wild as soon as possible.