Aquarium of the Pacific welcomes our newest and youngest sea otter, Ollie. She was found beached in Santa Cruz in September.
Ollie, our newest otter, was found beached in Santa Cruz, California, in September 2010. She was only about two weeks old and weighed approximately 5 pounds. Because she had lost her mother, officials determined she was unable to take care of herself in the wild. Ollie was transferred to SORAC (Sea Otter Research and Conservation Center) in Monterey for temporary care until she found her new home at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.
By six weeks Ollie was already 10 pounds and eating about 30 percent of her body weight. In October mammalogists Rob Mortensen and Caitlin Dixon and Veterinarian Dr. Lance Adams drove Ollie to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Once Ollie arrived she was quarantined in a behind-the-scenes holding exhibit. Aquarium keepers had her on a strict eighteen-hour watch every day to ensure she acclimated well to her new surroundings. Additionally, she was fed every three to four hours and weighed daily to monitor her health.
Ollie is now the fifth otter to call the Aquarium home, along with Brook, Charlie, Little Maggie, and Big Maggie. Ollie was initially given a numerical name of 514 by SORAC because she was the fourteenth sea otter stranded in California in 2010. She was named Ollie by six-year-old Grace Suomi, daughter of Aquarium Board Member Marvin Suomi. Grace is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, and the Aquarium wanted to honor her brave battle and her love for the Aquarium by asking her to name our new otter.
At this time guests can see our newest addition on a behind-the-scenes tour. Ollie is about a third of the size of the other otters and will take about a year to grow to full size. When she reaches about 40 pounds, Ollie will be ready to be introduced to the three other female otters. Once that takes place, she will be introduced to our male otter Charlie. She is expected to be on public exhibit in the fall of 2011.