Having received innovative chemotherapeutic care at the Vancouver Aquarium, beloved sea otter Milo, died from lymphoma (a type of cancer) on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. Milo will be missed and we thank everyone who has sent us positive wishes and thoughts over the past months.

Milo rose to worldwide fame when he was filmed holding paws with companion Nyac four years ago. The online video has been viewed by over 16 million people worldwide.

Milo was the first live sea otter to be diagnosed with lymphoma and the first sea otter treated with chemotherapy in the world. Since his diagnosis in August 2011, Vancouver Aquarium’s veterinary team consulted with veterinary oncologists, pathologists, researchers, internists and other specialists from around the world to create a unique treatment plan for Milo. His response to treatment had been very positive for almost six months. Between intensive treatments, Milo spent time in his sea otter habitat with companion Tanu.

The collaboration of veterinary specialists from around the world to create a unique chemotherapeutic treatment plan for a sea otter has resulted in important knowledge that will improve our understanding of sea otter diseases and responses to treatment. Dr. Martin Haulena will be reviewing the preliminary results of the treatment plan and outcomes over the next few months and will share this knowledge with international colleagues to help advance veterinary care in future cases.

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24 Responses

  1. Clarice & Jon

    I can’t believe I just found out! Was really looking forward to feeding Milo again during summer… and was devestated when I saw the news… 🙁

    Our condolences to the aquarium team and RIP Milo… you will be sorely missed..

  2. Jun

    So sad about this news.
    I was looking forward to seeing Milo someday from Japan.
    I will love Milo forever and ever.

  3. Kari

    I’m so sad to hear about Milo. I always enjoyed seeing him on your otter cam playing and swimming around. I love the compassion and love that the aquarium has for their animals. Miss you Milo and hugs to the aquarium. <3

  4. Markus

    So sad to hear that. Since we visited Vancouver Aquarium in 2007 Milo was someone who gave us lot of funny moments when we watched him over the internet. You’ll be in our heart forever! RIP.

  5. clare jeffrey

    Milo you were the reason I visited Vancouver from Australia. My husband bought you as an adopted otter for me for my birthday. Then he gave me a ticket to fly to Vancouver to see you. I was lucky enough to not only see you but to help feed you. I am so saddened by your passing, but I have many good memories from that trip back in 2009 and lot of video footage of me feeding you. I will never forget you…Vale Milo

  6. Brandy

    I will never forget how special you made my visits to the Aquarium, Milo. Although I was only visiting Vancouver for about a week, I ventured to the aquarium twice, opting to add the sea otter trainer tour on my second visit… all because of you. I even got to feed you some lovely clams! 🙂

    Your life meant so much to so many, and I hope that your legacy is carried on through conservation efforts and awareness about issues that impact sea otters in the wild and captivity.

    Much love, Milo… Happy swimming in that big ocean in the sky. xo

  7. S. Clark

    You were a lovely otter in life Milo, so cute, and I will always remember your little black nose. I’ve been watching the webcam for over a year, and on days when I wasn’t well enough to go outside, watching you swim brought me comfort. You were a brave otter, I never guessed you were sick, and hopefully your suffering was minimal, but even so your illness and treatment seems to have helped teach your people at the aquarium a lot about cancer and its treatment: you are a hero among otters now, Milo!

    I’ll always think of you whenever I eat fish,
    Farewell to you, Milo, my favourite otter.

  8. Nicolette

    Cry:( I love you Milo! Ill always miss you! Im visited you countless times in your playpool n had fun seeing u on webcam playing around with toys , ur always so carefree n happy! Many can learn from your ways:D misssss u so much milo! I hope u had found nyac n together be healthy free n playful for eternity:) ~<3<3 u!

  9. Herrera

    We loved seeing Milo and supporting the Vancouver aquarium. We thank him for leaving a fond memory in our hearts and hope that this leads to continual efforts to save sea otters.

  10. Vera

    R.I.P. Milo. I hope that right now you are somewhere beautiful happily rafting with all the other dearly departed little otters. . .

  11. Gracie Lin

    R.I.P. little Milo. Now you can hold hands with Nyac again in heaven. The sea otter tank is always the highlight of the aquarium visit every time I go. Thank you to the aquarium team for doing such a great job looking after him.

  12. Elizabeth Blackman

    Milo: you were a great little sea otter. Although I live in the UK I have visted you everyday when I have been in Vancouver each year. I will miss you so much. I watched you for ages and you had your own personality. I loved every minute! Thank you to the hardwork of the aquarium staff who did their best for Milo – it must be very upsetting.. My thoughts are with you. x

  13. Sarah

    So sorry to hear this news. I visited Vancouver from UK and spent loads of time enjoying Milo’s antics – he was such a cutie and will be greatly missed.

  14. Suzanne Clark

    Awww so sorry to hear this news. My son and I where over visiting family from Scotland in the summer and came to the aquarium. The sea otters were my favourite by far. RIP Milo <3

  15. Genii

    Swim Free darling Milo.
    No pains.

    Respect and LOVE to your humans who treated you with compassion & LOVE

  16. S Emerson

    The otter tank was always the first exhibit we visited when we went to Stanley Park Zoo many moons ago. We could spend hours watching them putter around.

    RIP Milo.

  17. jolie

    im so sad to hear about milo…. i use to like milo a lot, but im really sad to hear that it passed away, but good thing that it went to heaven peacefully… !

  18. Hayley West

    You were a great little otter! I’ve had my aquarium membership for over 3years now and I have always enjoyed your playfulness and spirit! You will be deeply missed by all <3 R.I.P Milo the Magnificent

  19. Erika Cedillo

    We are very sad about this news. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy him playing around in his pool and see him holding paws. Will miss you! RIP Milo.
    Hugs for all the team at the Aquarium.
    Duarte Family

  20. Heather

    We are so sad to hear about Milo, my daughter and loved to watch them swim around! Big hugs to the aquarium team !!!

  21. Margaret Brodie

    So sad to hear about little Milo. Our family has followed his journey and loved watching him laze about his acquarium pool on his back.


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