Meet Rialto, the Vancouver Aquarium's newest addition
Named after the beach where he was found orphaned on the Washington coast, Rialto the sea otter pup is now settling into his new home at the Vancouver Aquarium. The pup made the drive up from Seattle yesterday where he had been receiving 24-hour care at the Seattle Aquarium.
Since his rescue on August 1, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre has been working with the Seattle Aquarium to nurse Rialto back to health. When he was discovered, he was emaciated and suffering from pneumonia and a gastrointestinal infection. "Wild sea otter pups can have low survival rates," says Dr. Martin Haulena, head veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium. "This guy was really sick, so the odds were stacked against him."
Now that his condition is stable, the pup will be learning to swim and eat on his own as he moves into his new nursery and permanent home at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Rialto will join three other rescued sea otters currently living at aquarium—Elfin, Tanu and Katmai—but he won't be introduced to them right away. "It will depend on him and his progress, but we'll begin letting him swim for short stretches in the larger pool, and then introduce him to the other otters one at a time," says Brian Sheehan, curator of marine animals at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Although the public isn't able to view Rialto in person just yet, the aquarium has set up a Baby Otter Cam live-feed from the nursery that can be viewed online or on a monitor at the sea otter viewing area at the aquarium.