An orphaned male sea otter pup — just weeks old — has captured the hearts of people around the world. ‘Joey’, discovered near Kyuquot, B.C. and flown to the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre this month has garnered plenty of attention over the past few weeks, including a piece in People Magazine. Now, thanks to his care team, you can follow his rehabilitation journey at the hospital virtually thanks to a 24/7 live ‘JoeyCam’. The webcam is fixed on his ‘crib’ where Joey can be spotted napping most of the day, and occasionally feeding, grooming or bathing as well.
Rescue centre staff are working with the sea otter pup around the clock and are excited to share his journey with his fans and ‘adopted parents’ from around the world.
“We’re really happy to see Joey’s progress. He’s hitting a lot of the developmental milestones we’d hope to see in a pup this young and seems to be settling into his care routine quite well. He’s feeding a lot–which is a great sign,” said Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
In the wild, sea otter pups are incredibly dependent on their mothers for the first 6 months of their lives. A pup would normally learn to groom, swim and feed from its mother. “Joey still has a long journey ahead of him in order to master those essential skills for himself,” added Akhurst. The sea otter population in Canada was once hunted to extinction for their thick fur and has since been reintroduced to British Columbia.
The Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre — a hospital for sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals — is the only one of its kind in Canada. Under authorization from DFO, the team rescues, rehabilitates and releases more than 120 animals each year; For every patient, the goal is to treat, rehabilitate and return it to the wild as soon as possible. The veterinary team provides medical treatment to harbour seals, sea otters, sea lions, sea turtles, elephant seals, whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
If you see marine wildlife in distress, please keep people and pets away and call the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre hotline at 604.258.SEAL (7325) or Fisheries and Oceans Canada incident reporting hotline at 1-800-465-4336.