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Animals, News, Life

Rescued sea otter orphan meets new mom at Vancouver Aquarium (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Animals, News, Life

Rescued sea otter orphan meets new mom at Vancouver Aquarium (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

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Jenni Sheppard Sep 22, 2017 2:54 pm 14,688

This will seriously make your heart melt.

Hardy, the male sea otter pup rescued after he was found crying off Vancouver Island, may finally have a new mom, after meeting fellow rescued sea otter Tanu.

The orphan pup was between two and four weeks old when he began following a boat and crying out to boaters in June.

There were no adult sea otters in sight and the boaters took the pup to Port Hardy. He was then moved to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

Now four months old, this week Hardy met Vancouver Aquarium’s 13-year-old rescued female sea otter, Tanu, for the first time – and it was the cutest thing ever.

Hardy sees Tanu for the first time (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy sees Tanu for the first time. (Vancouver Aquarium)

In a statement, Kristi Heffron, senior marine mammal trainer, said it was an even more successful introduction than staff had anticipated.

“It took Hardy a moment or two to realize that Tanu had joined him in the Finning Habitat,” said Heffron.

“Then Tanu went to Hardy and put him on her chest, just like a mother would do to her pup.”

Hardy and Tanu swimming (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy and Tanu swimming. (Vancouver Aquarium)

13-year-old Tanu hugging four-month-old Hardy after they meet for the first time (Vancouver Aquarium)

Tanu hugging Hardy. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Heffron said there was lots of sniffing and exploring and some vocalizing – all natural otter behaviour.

Hardy and Tanu sniffing each other (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy and Tanu sniffing each other. (Vancouver Aquarium)

“After a little while, we saw them both swimming, grooming, and eating independently. They’re quite comfortable together.”

Hardy and Tanu swimming (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy and Tanu swimming. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy eating (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy eating. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Tanu and Hardy being fed (Vancouver Aquarium)

Tanu and Hardy being fed. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Now that Hardy seems to have got his happy-ever-after, you can visit him and Tanu in the Finning Habitat during Sea Otter Awareness Week.

Starting on Saturday, September 22, visitors to Vancouver Aquarium will be able to enjoy otter-themed activities including:

  • daily sea otter feeds and enrichment sessions
  • a sea otter puppet show
  • Life in the Kelp Forest program

If you can’t make it to Aquarium, you can also watch Hardy and Tanu live on the underwater webcam here: vanaqua.org/learn/see-and-learn/live-cams/underwater-otter.

Sea otters live in coastal waters in the North Pacific Ocean. In BC, they are found along the central coast near Bella Bella, and along the windswept west coast of Vancouver Island.

The only sea otters near Vancouver are the six living at Vancouver Aquarium – Tanu, Katmai, Mak, Kunik, Rialto, and Hardy, who were all rescued.

And just in case you need some more sea otter in your life, here are some more photos of Hardy meeting Tanu for the first time:

Hardy watching Tanu (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy watching Tanu. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy and Tanu swimming (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy and Tanu swimming. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Tanu eating (Vancouver Aquarium)

Tanu eating. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy swimming (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy swimming. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy watching Tanu (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy watching Tanu. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy eating (Vancouver Aquarium)

Hardy eating. (Vancouver Aquarium)


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Jenni Sheppard
Senior Staff Writer at Daily Hive. Happy Vancouverite. Traveller, snowboarder, foodie, film fan, feminist, geek, cheesemaker, curler. Have a story to tell? Email [email protected]

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