Veterinary Surgical and Rehabilitation Services

Sea Otter - Lootas

On December 6, 2005, Seattle Aquarium Biologists were proud to announce the birth of a fluffy bundle of fur at the Aquarium! Lootas the sea otter gave birth to her pup, Alki, that evening at 5:25 pm. What makes this birth unique is that Lootas is the first otter who has successfully given birth naturally following a C-section for a previous pregnancy.

Sea Otter Born at Seattle Aquarium

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Seattle Aquarium Biologists are announcing the birth of a fluffy bundle of fur at the Aquarium. Lootas the sea otter gave birth to a pup Tuesday evening, December 6 at 5:25 pm. Mother and pup are doing quite well this morning. "We were nervous about this birth in particular since Lootas underwent an emergency C-section two years ago," stated CJ Casson, Curator of Life Sciences at the Seattle Aquarium. "She recovered well from that surgery which was performed by board-certified veterinary surgeons Dr. Allen Johnson and Dr. Russell Patterson from the Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle on Stone Way. We were very lucky to have such dedicated and talented professionals available and willing to perform surgery on a sea otter. This birth is a relief to us all."

Lootas is an experienced mother--this is her fourth live pup. Right now the pup is nursing and sleeping, just as you would expect with any infant. Mother is busy grooming and caring for the pup. "Over the next few weeks, both mother and pup will be monitored around the clock by a team of 'Otter Watchers' allowing us to compare behavior with that of previous sea otter births at the Seattle Aquarium. Being able to compare the data should give us a good indication of how the pup is doing," says Casson.

As long as things continue to go well, the public will be able to see and watch the mother and pup, but from a few feet back to avoid unnecessary stress to the animals. The gender of the newborn has not yet been determined, but will be announced as soon as it's known.

 Lootas, an eight-year old northern sea otter was orphaned in Alaska as a young pup in 1997 when her mother was killed by a power boat. Although she was slightly injured, the then-four-week-old pup began her recuperation at the SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska and was brought to the Seattle Aquarium. Lootas was hand-raised here and is one of the more popular animals at the Aquarium. The pup's father, Adaa, was found suffering from hypothermia on an airport runway in Alaska at about 7 months of age. He was raised at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where he lived until coming to the Seattle Aquarium in April of 2004 as part of a breeding exchange program.

Want more information about the Aquarium, the otters, or conservation programs? Click here or call the general information line at 206-386-4320.