Rescued sea otter pup treated at SeaLife Center

A two-month-old male sea otter pup is recuperating at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward after extensive medical treatment. (Photo by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Center)

Medical staff at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward say a two-month-old male sea otter pup who arrived dehydrated, malnourished and barely responsive is recovering after extensive treatment.

The sea otter, whom the SeaLife Center has named “Dixon,” weighed just over eight pounds when he was admitted from Homer on Aug. 9. He also had bacterial infections, anemia and severe intestinal issues, veterinarian Kathy Woodie said.

“The prognosis for this otter looked grave, but he had a fighting spirit and overcame tremendous health conditions,” she said.

Dixon now weighs more than 15 pounds, and is being bottle fed a special otter formula, plus small pieces of clam, capelin and squid. Now that he has overcome many medical hurdles and cleared quarantine, he is to be integrated with other otters at the center, said husbandry director Lisa Hartman. At four months, Ranney, a female otter, is of similar age and size to Dixon and is hopefully his first companion, she said.

The non-profit center is the only permitted marine mammal wildlife response and rehabilitation entity in Alaska and is funded mostly from charitable contributions. More about the center is online at www.alaskasealife.org