Our veterinary team is happy to report that Walter, the rescued sea otter that was found in grave condition and suffering from gunshot wounds, is no longer in critical condition.

After seven weeks of critical care and a number of successful procedures, Vancouver Aquarium’s veterinarian, Dr. Martin Haulena, has reclassified Walter as stable. Until now, Walter, who was blinded and severely injured by shotgun pellets, was considered critical.

Since his arrival at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre on October 18, 2013, Dr. Haulena and the veterinary team have performed multiple surgeries on shattered bones in one of his flippers. This past week, the team, along with visiting veterinary dental specialist, Dr. Loic Legendre, performed oral surgery to treat broken teeth caused by the shotgun blast. Three of Walter’s broken teeth were extracted and a complex root canal was performed to save one of his canine teeth.

According to Dr. Haulena, “Walter still has a long way to go, but he has made significant progress. His flexibility has improved, which means he can now groom himself much better. Having removed his broken teeth and treated his oral infection, he should feel much more comfortable.”

Walter munches on lunch after his oral surgery and demonstrates there’s nothing wrong with his appetite. Photo credit: Vancouver Aquarium.

Walter munches on lunch after his oral surgery and demonstrates there’s nothing wrong with his appetite. Photo credit: Vancouver Aquarium.


The veterinary team remains focused on Walter’s recovery. To see photos of Walter or any of our patients, please visit the Rescue Centre on Facebook.

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre

The Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver and supported by Teekay Shipping, is a hospital for sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals. The Rescue Centre rescues stranded marine mammals and rehabilitates them for release back into their natural habitat. Donate to the Rescue Centre at www.vanaqua.org/mmr




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7 Responses

  1. Keisha

    All the best to everyone at Marine Mammal Rescue —

    so heart-warming to know that our loved sea otter is doing well and that everything is going well for him. . . we appreciate the up-dates. . .

    Enjoy a wonderful holiday season, thanks kindly, Keisha.

  2. Tracy W

    A BIG THANKS to all of you involved in Walter’s recovery. It is obvious that he has the will to live and is enjoying himself in spite of everything he went through and his disability. He owes everything to the person who rescued him, and to your immense care and love.

    I hope you will decide to keep him as a very loved member of the Vancouver Aquarium resident otters. He is an example of otters’ legendary resilience and courage.

    Thanks again.

    Victoria, BC

  3. Dayna Wilson

    This is excellent news, I’m so glad to hear Wally’s doing well. I’m always eager for updates, glad they continue to be positive 🙂

  4. Dena Kent

    I have grown very fond of this little fellow and I have been following his progress very closely.
    It breaks my heart that somebody could do this to an innocent creature and he is so blessed to get the ultimate care.
    I am so humbled by all the people who’ve helped him recover.
    I hope I can see him one day at the Aquarium.


    Dena Kent

  5. Melanie Knight

    Go Wally Go!
    Congrats Marty and your team. Must have been a lot of late nights. You guys are truely amazing.

    Thanks for the update!


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