Late last year, the Vancouver Aquarium welcomed three rescued sea otter pups Rialto, Mak, and Kunik. And last week – for the first time ever – the pups were introduced to an adult otter. Tanu, a 12-year-old rescued female, has lived at the Aquarium since 2004.
“The first meet went well. Tanu and Mak interacted almost immediately and had some good bouts of playful wrestling and porpoising about in their habitat. Tanu then interacted with Kunik in a similar fashion. Rialto, the youngest and most timid pup, remained on a haul out where he was joined by Kunik and Mak and then Tanu who sniffed the pups before she returned to the water to swim and groom,” said Marine Mammal Curator Brian Sheehan. “As time passed, the pups became more comfortable and began grooming and spending more and more time in the water.”
While Tanu has re-joined the other adult otters, Katmai and Elfin, her gradual introduction to the pups will continue over the coming days and weeks.
Visitors to Vancouver Aquarium can get to know the sea otters and their rescue stories during daily Sea Otter talks at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and can watch the sea otters in their habitat via the live Underwater Otter Cam.
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by the Port of Vancouver, 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. At a time when more science is needed, not less, we ask that you share your support for our conservation work, and to keep Canada’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre open and thriving. Share your support here.