Otters at Sealife center

Otters at Sealife center

From now until June 1st the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is offering a unique opportunity for people to see some of Alaska’s wild sea life up close according to Jennifer Gibbins, director of communications and marketing. “ASLC is inviting visitors to get a closer look at the adorable and charismatic sea otters currently in residence at the Center, including a tiny fur ball of a pup. We have six otters in residence right now which have come in through our wildlife response program where we respond to stranded animals and when appropriate we admit them to our wildlife rehabilitation program. We only intervene when the animal is less than six months old and from then on we actually play the role of mama, which as all moms know is demanding. ASLC is not only a public aquarium but a scientific research facility, so when we are caring for these animals the priority is animal care and health, but the other is to glean all we can from these animals. We are seeing an uptick in otter stranding and the scientists are still learning what might be causing this,” she told the Dispatch in an interview, “This is the first time the public can view these otters one of which is a fur ball of a pup about a month old and five other young otters about f months old that are just young a charismatic, rambunctious group that are a lot of fun to watch,” she said.

The ASLC, a non-profit organization, is the only permitted marine mammal wildlife rehabilitation entity in Alaska. In addition to viewing from the Center’s general admission areas and “I.Sea.U.” overlook, for a limited time this spring, the sea otters are the latest animals to be added to the list of ASLC Animal Encounter Tours. “I tell people who come to see the otters, don’t worry about how cute they are, let me tell you how cool they are,” says Emmy Wood, an ASLC mammologist who specializes in otter care. The 30-min Otter Encounter Tours are led by expert animal care givers from the ASLC and are suitable for ages 6 and up. Visitors learn more about sea otters, a highly specialized keystone species in the marine ecosystem. Participants also have the opportunity to join animal care givers to observe a feeding or animal enrichment session in the outdoor otter pool. Young otters are entirely dependent on their mothers for up to nine months. Admitting the tiny patients to the Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Program means standing in for otter moms to provide constant care for the duration, teaching them all the skills they need to survive from basic potty training and grooming – and the laundry that goes with that – to teaching the otters how to forage for food and survive in the wild. The minimum age for Otter Encounter Tour is 6 years old. Maximum of 12 people per tour. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Limited space available. To book a reservation please call the ASLC Reservation Hotline 1-888-378-2525 or email visitaslc@alaskasealife.org. Proceeds from admission and tours support the work of the ASLC, a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. Otter encounters are only until 2 p.m. daily through June 1st.

Otters at Sealife center
Otters at Sealife center

More in News

Assembly President Brent Johnson asks questions of representatives of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District during a joint work session of the School Board and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough to enter contract for asbestos flooring abatement in 3 central peninsula schools

The work will be done at Kenai Central High, Kenai Alternative High and Sterling Elementary schools

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 dead, 3 missing after boat capsizes near Seward

Alaska State Troopers were notified by the U.S. Coast Guard of an overturned vessel around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday

Kenai Central High School stands under clear skies in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough approves contract for KCHS parking lot rehabilitation

Soldotna-based Foster Construction will be awarded the bid of $648,997 to complete the project

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Central Peninsula Hospital to host Cancer Survivor’s Day event

The event will take place Sunday, June 2 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks to the joint Soldotna and Kenai chambers of commerce at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Carpenter gives wrap up on session as he nears end of House term

Carpenter is seeking election to state Senate District D

(from left to right) Jachin Sanchez, Carter Lemons, Rowan Mahoney, Adelyn McCorison and Taylor Rickard graduated from Ninilchik School on Monday, May 13, 2024 in Ninilchik, Alaska. Photo provided by Mattea Peters-Williamson
Ninilchik graduates 5 in 2024 commencement

The school held the ceremony Monday, May 13

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce, left, and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
4-day school week committee adjourns

The committee will deliver recommendations to school board in July

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out corroded insulation outside of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 in Soldotna . (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna Elementary awaits action on approved bond

Almost two years after public OKs bond, borough asking for more time

Most Read