Environment

Sea otter pup orphaned in Morro Bay gets a new home in Oregon

A sea otter pup found stranded in Morro Bay Harbor when he was less than 2 weeks old has found a new home at the Oregon Zoo in Portland — but his name betrays a local connection.

The pup was originally taken in by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s rescue and care program, which named him 805, according to a news release from the zoo.

Little 805 was rescued in late October. Officials weren’t able to pair him with a surrogate mother and he was deemed non-releasable by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the zoo said. When that happened, the Monterey Bay Aquarium searched for a place that could take the pup, and found it in the Oregon Zoo.

The otter moved to his new home on Friday, the zoo said. He is being cared for in a nursery at the zoo’s Steller Cove marine life habitat.

Oregon Zoo marine life keeper Sara Morgan said in a news release that 805 is “full of spunk, very squeaky and fun to be around.”

She added that the little guy “takes a lot of naps — that’s when he’s at his fluffiest.”

The pup is about 2 months old and weighs about 14 pounds, the zoo said. He is starting to groom himself, albeit with a little help, and is enjoying his seafood diet, which are signs that he is settling well, according to the zoo.

Morgan said in the release that 805 shows a preference for shrimp, and seemed insulted when the keeper tried to offer him squid.

Visitors to the zoo can see the pup in January, but until then, he’ll stay behind the scenes.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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