Two orphaned California sea otters, rescued as pups nearly three years ago, continue to thrive at SeaWorld San Diego. Abby arrived at SeaWorld in July 2007 and Ellie was brought to the park in November 2007. Both pups were only days old when abandoned by their mothers along the coast in Northern California.
A team of animal care specialists at SeaWorld hand raised the pups providing them round-the-clock care for more than six months. "Both pups did fantastic," said senior animal care specialist Mark Bressler. "They responded very well to our care and it was very satisfying helping them to grow and develop their skills.”
When the pups were several months old, they joined the park's two other California sea otters, Kayla and Kate, on exhibit at Rocky Point Preserve. Today, Abby, weighing 42 pounds, and Ellie, tipping the scale at nearly 50 pounds, delight visitors with their curious personalities and antics.
Over the last two years, SeaWorld's animal care specialists have also learned more about the development of these otters. “It was fascinating to be able to observe their growth rates,” said Bressler. “Because Abby was born premature, her growth rate lagged significantly behind Ellie's growth rate. Even though they are of the same species, and born within a few months of each other, it was very interesting to compare the developmental differences.”
Giving Abby and Ellie a second chance at life is another demonstration of SeaWorld's continuing commitment to conservation and animal rescue.