During the entire month of November, the Minnesota Zoo will be sharing stories of the many rescued and rehabilitated animals that we care for. All of our animals receive amazing care from zoo staff, volunteers and community members. All of this work is made possible because of YOUR amazing support – thank you! Check back daily as we feature a new story from around the Zoo.
“Capers,” “Jasper,” and “Rocky” were rescued as orphaned pups in Alaska’s southern waters in the summers of 2006 and 2007. The three sea otter pups were rehabilitated at Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward before arriving to their home at the Minnesota Zoo. The Zoo’s sea otters were hand raised; because they were just days old when they were rescued, they needed to be fed every two hours. As a result of their early human care and interaction, each has formed a special bond with their amazing and dedicated animal care staff. Sea otters are naturally curious and playful, and the Minnesota Zoo’s otters enjoy a variety of enrichment including ice, treats, and toys. Jasper finds it especially enriching to interact with the human guests who visit him and will playfully chase them along the windows of his home in Russia’s Grizzly Coast!
Arguably some of the cutest animals at the Minnesota Zoo, sea otters are loved by most (if not all). If you love them as much as we do, join us during a “Backstage with Sea Otters” program!
Did you know? Sea otters eat between 25 and 30 percent of their body weight each day in seafood, including sea urchins, fish, clams, snails, worms, sea stars, crabs, squid, octopus, and abalone. Sea otters move constantly – Zoo guests frequently observe them diving for food, using natural tools to open shells, cleaning their fur, and playing. Wild populations of sea otters once numbered between 150,000 to 300,000 individuals; during the 1800’s, the population dwindled below 2,000. Today, sea otters are protected by law as they face difficulties with human interactions, entanglement in marine debris, and disease.
Our three sea otters, like many of our animals, enjoy a variety of special enrichment everyday! Check out our Amazon.com wishlist for a full list of items you can purchase for all of the animals here at the Minnesota Zoo.