New Orleans,
09
March
2017

Rescued juvenile sea otter finds new home at Audubon Aquarium

The otter is acclimating to her new home behind-the-scenes but soon will join Clara, the Aquarium's resident sea otter, in the public area of the habitat

Summary

An "otterly" adorable new resident has found a home at Audubon Aquarium. The rescued juvenile sea otter from Monterey, Calif., arrived last night and is currently acclimating to her new environment behind-the-scenes in the custom-made, 25,000-gallon sea otter habitat.

An "otterly" adorable new resident has found a home at Audubon Aquarium. The rescued juvenile sea otter from Monterey, Calif., arrived last night and is currently acclimating to her new environment behind-the-scenes in the custom-made, 25,000-gallon sea otter habitat.

The 18-month-old female sea otter was found as an abandoned day-old pup on September 12, 2015. While she appeared well enough to be released following a period of care, after several unsuccessful attempts, it was determined by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials that she would not survive in the ocean if left on her own.

The new otter will be joining Audubon's current resident, Clara, an 8 year-old sea otter that has been under the care of the Aquarium's team since 2015.

Beth Firchau, Director of Animal Husbandry, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
"We are thrilled to be able to provide a new companion for Clara. Having the ability to care for this rescued otter, and support southern sea otter conservation with our partners, makes bringing this new sea otter to New Orleans that much more exciting and significant."

 
Beth Firchau, Director of Animal Husbandry, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program has been studying and trying to save threatened southern sea otters since 1984. The program rescues, treats and releases injured otters, raises and releases stranded pups through its surrogate program, provides care for sea otters that can’t return to the wild, and conducts scientific research. Although the program focuses primarily on southern sea otters, staff and volunteers collaborate with the U.S. Geological Survey and other scientists to study sea otters from Russia, to Alaska, to southern California.

“We invested considerable effort to release this sea otter back into the wild but it didn’t work out," said Andrew Johnson, Sea Otter Program Manager. "We’re extremely happy and appreciative that Audubon is willing to provide her with a new home.”

In the wild, Southern sea otters are imperiled by disease, pollutants, kelp harvesting and net entrapment. An expansive range that once stretched from Japan all the way to Baja California is now reduced to the central California coast. Sea otters are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"Audubon is known for its excellent management of sea otters in human care," said Firchau. "Our partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program is invaluable to our ability to do our work, and do it so well. We look forward to caring for this amazing sea otter ambassador and hope we inspire our visitors to save animals like these from extinction."

Audubon Aquarium was looking for a name for their new otter and asked the public for help.

More than 3000 people voted and the Aquarium's new sea otter is named....

Watch the announcement on Audubon's Facebook page 

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.

Contact
photo:Katie Smith
Katie Smith
Director of Public Relations
Office: (504) 378-2693
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