Vancouver Aquarium's Corky the sea otter passes away

Dec 19 2017, 5:52 pm

A sea otter that was injured in August from what’s thought to be a boat strike died Wednesday morning after a ground breaking surgery to try and save him, according to the Vancouver Aquarium.

Corky was found off of Tofino with a fractured rib that lead to air trapped under his skin, leaving him unable to dive for food and would have “faced certain death in the wild,” said the aquarium in a press release.

In an effort to save his life on Monday night, a team of veterinarians removed one of his kidneys, as well as several blood clots from his bladder, and gave him a full blood transfusion, the first of its kind for an otter.

“Corky’s case was such an inspiring rescue effort,” said Emily Johnson, manager of the Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in a statement.

“The surgery was nothing short of amazing, and I thought he just might pull through. He seemed to have that much will. He was a special little guy.”

The surgeries were performed by two veterinarians from Seattle, Dr. Alex Aguila from the Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle and Dr. Lesanna Lahner, head veterinarian for the Seattle Aquarium, as well as the Vancouver Aquarium’s own Dr. Karisa Tang.

Despite his passing, the team at the aquarium believes it was a valuable learning experience.

“His treatment contributes to a greater body of vet knowledge which will help us with future rescue efforts,” said head veterinarian of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Science Centre Dr. Marin Haulena in a statement.

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