Alaska SeaLife Center lets new otters do the talking in donation, support request

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SEWARD, Alaska (KTUU) - If you thought the November week of promotions began with Black Friday and ended with Cyber Monday, you'd be leaving out so-called "Giving Tuesday," the day following online deals dedicated to donating or giving to nonprofits, rather than buying from commercial operations.

The newest sea otter found on Nov. 1 (left); Dixon (male) and Ranney (female) play together after being cleared from quarantine (center); Bishop celebrates his first birthday in October (right). Alaska SeaLife Center photos. Activities in the pictures are authorized by USFWS LOA 73418B-0.

To that end, the Alaska SeaLife Center made its case by showing off four cuddly otters, and stating that their admittance to the Wildlife Response Program was triggering a need for financial support.

In a news release issued by the center, representatives took the opportunity to announce a newly admitted otter, as well as ask for contributions, owing to the fact that sea otter pups supposedly require the most extensive care out of any animal regularly admitted to ASLC for rehabilitation.

“They depend on us for everything. Very young pups require bottle feedings every one to two hours. Between feeds, it’s our job to groom their dense fur coat in order to keep them clean and warm. Grooming can take up to an hour in itself,” Animal Care Specialist, Halley Werner, said in a statement.

The center said that much of the funds needed to care for animals, like sea otters, come from charitable giving like donations received on Giving Tuesday.

ASLC President and CEO Tara Riemer doubled down, saying, “We have no federal or state funding to care for sea otters, and we rely on donations to keep this program going."

The new, 5-week-old pup identified Tuesday was reportedly found crossing a road near the Homer spit and contacted ASLC’s Wildlife Response Team.

Upon arrival to the Center, officials say the pup was determined to be dehydrated, malnourished, and suffering from gastrointestinal issues. He's reportedly stable now, and responding well to treatment.

In addition to unveiling the new otter pup and underscoring the importance of donations, the center also provided an update on a story KTUU covered this summer, when a female sea otter pup was spotted by boaters, floating on her own in the middle of Prince William Sound.

According to the center, that pup, which has been named Ranney, is doing well, and was recently introduced to another, male otter pup who was discovered in August. The pair are roughly the same age, and getting along well, ASLC said.

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