VANCOUVER, Canada– A rescued sea otter is well on his way to becoming an Internet sensation.
Rialto was emaciated when he washed up along a remote beach in Washington on Aug. 1. The pup was taken to the Seattle Aquarium with pneumonia and gastrointestinal issues. On Monday, he was moved to the Vancouver Aquarium for around-the-clock care.
“Wild sea otter pups can have low survival rates,” head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena said. “This guy was really sick, so the odds were stacked against him.”
Mother sea otters carry pups on their stomachs for eight weeks before the babies can survive on their own. Without learning how to forage for food from his mom, Rialto won’t be released back into the wild.
Before he can move into a habitat with other otters, he’s being kept in a special nursery, which has a live video camera. (Watch live video of Rialto here)