Sick baby sea otter rushed to SeaWorld for treatment - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sick baby sea otter rushed to SeaWorld for treatment

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Sick and abandoned by her mother, a sea otter pup stranded on a Monterey beach is now in the care of SeaWorld professionals.

It's been a long ride for the four-month-old sea otter and her three escorts from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to San Diego.

"You watch them, you regulate their body heat, so you see a lot of ice going in there and spraying down so as we can keep her cool and she doesn't get all worked up and excited. Then she can pretty much keep her temp under control," Eric Otjen said.

But for this pup, her journey has been even longer. Stranded on a beach in mid-February, the central coast aquarium cared for her before releasing her back into the wild. But the sea otter came back once again, forcing authorities to find her a place for long-term care.

"It's around the time where she would be starting to get weaned from mom and if they got separated, she might not be strong enough in figuring out what she's supposed to eat, how to find it how to catch it," Otjen said.

On Thursday, the sea otter was introduced to her new home -- SeaWorld -- and with a captive audience, she devoured her food.

"She's a good strong pup, eats well, is taking her food great," Otjen said.

Otjen says her road to recovery will take several weeks. The otter is battling parasites, so she will be quarantined while she is nursed back to health. She'll be introduced to some new friends, one by one.

"We're hoping that the new one gets to know how to be an otter, and all the rules that otters have," he said.

After the sea otter pup is restored to good health she will join her four other female friends her at Otter Outlook, her new permanent home.

The sea otter pup has not yet been named, but SeaWrold says it is considering Irish names in honor of her homecoming on St. Patrick's Day.

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