Explore Our History
Most of our exhibit sea otters came to the Aquarium as rescued pups, possibly separated from their mothers by heavy surf.
Look innocent? Our sea otters have, at one time or another, unscrewed and unbolted parts of the exhibit, used shells to scratch the windows, turned sea stars into frisbees and hidden toys in water pipes. One photographer who tried to dive in the exhibit dubbed them "Kelp Grizzlies"! We've learned to otterproof the exhibit and give them soft toys that won't harm them or the windows! And we take them out of the exhibit during maintenance dives.
Our First Exhibit Otters
February 1984Jiggs, the first stranded sea otter pup, arrives at the Aquarium in February and is joined by Goldie and Hailey within the next month. The three pups become the first exhibit otters. Milk Dud, rescued in the summer of 1984, joins the otter exhibit in December 1985. Roscoe arrives as a pup in March 1986. Rehabilitated and released, he fails to forage successfully and is retrieved. When Jiggs dies in August 1986, Roscoe finds a home in our exhibit.
Abandoned at BirthOtters rarely give birth to twins. It is very difficult for an otter mother to nurse and groom two pups. She must choose one pup to care for and abandon the other. In the fall of 1984, an abandoned twin pup is spotted and rescued off the Big Sur coast. She weighs 2 pounds, 8 ounceshalf the weight of a normal newborn otter. She receives round-the-clock care and is named Milk Dud because she won't drink milk. In December 1985, she joins the Sea Otter exhibit.