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article imageRescued sea otter dies at Vancouver Aquarium

By Darren Weir     Aug 11, 2012 in Environment
Vancouver - Despite round-the-clock intense treatment by Vancouver Aquarium staff, a sick and injured sea-otter rescued from a Washington State beach, has died.
CTV reports the adult male otter was found lying on a beach near Seattle on July 9. The otter's flippers were damaged and infected and he was severely malnourished, but so far it's not known what caused the injuries.
The otter was named Quin after the Quinault Indian Nation where it was discovered. He was taken to a zoo in Tacoma, Washington and received round-the-clock care for several weeks before being transferred to the Vancouver Aquarium's' marine mammal rehabilitation facility.
In a news release, Dr. Martin Haulena, staff veterinarian at the aquarium, says, "We knew that the risks were high when the sea otter was rescued in poor body condition, including several significant injuries and obvious metabolic compromise." "Despite a steady decrease in appetite and condition, we had hoped that he would regain his strength. He received the very best medical care available to him from a team of clinicians across the Pacific Northwest, but was unable to recover."
The Vancouver Sun quotes an aquarium veterinarian saying his condition continued to deteriorate to the point where he was barely able to get in and out of the small pool on his own.
Global TV BC says, based on preliminary post-mortem results, officials suspect the otter died from severe liver failure and cerebral edema. A British Columbia government vet and a wildlife expert from the US performed the necropsy on the animal and found an enlarged liver and evidence of liver failure, an enlarged heart, water on the brain and also within the chest. More lab test results are expected in a few weeks. url= t=_blank]CTV News says officials are hoping the test results will help them figure out what caused the Otter to become so sick and help to identify health risks to the sea otter population. Sea Otters are now listed as a species of special concern in Canada after being hunted to near extinction during the fur trade.
In the news release, Haulena says,“I’d like to thank our dedicated team of staff and volunteers at the Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre—our team gives 110% to the care of every animal we treat at the Rescue Centre and, although he did not make it, it was an important and valuable learning experience.”
CTV says the Vancouver Aquarium rescued more than 150 stranded marine mammals last year.
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