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Wounded sea otter making progress: aquarium 0

Nick Eagland, 24 hours

Wally the sea otter. (PHOTO COURTESY OF NEIL FISHER)

Wally the sea otter. (PHOTO COURTESY OF NEIL FISHER)

A veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium has upgraded the condition of a sea otter found in grave condition near Tofino after being riddled with shotgun pellets.

Wally, a sea otter that was shot in the face, is now in stable condition, though it will likely never regain its sight, the aquarium said in a press release.

The otter has been in the aquarium’s care since Oct. 18.

Dr. Martin Haulena and his team performed a number of oral surgeries over the past week to repair the otter’s teeth, and over the past two months performed surgeries on one of its flippers to increase flexibility so it can groom itself properly.

Aquarium rescue centre manager Lindsaye Akhurst said though the otter is swimming well, it still has a long way to go in its recovery.

“Because he does not have sight, he does not make a good candidate for release,” said Akhurst. “We’re still focusing on his daily care at this point.”

Aquarium staff must be careful when approaching the blind sea otter in order to not startle it, though “he has figured out that humans do mean food,” said Akhurst.

“He’s still a wild animal, but he seems to be adapting quite well within the rehabilitation centre.”

 

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