Rescued sea otter pups settle in at new homes

One taken in by Oregon Coast Aquarium, the other by Oregon Zoo

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NEWPORT, Ore. — The Oregon Coast Aquarium has another new sea otter pup.

Less than two months after the arrival of Nuka, a rescued pup from Alaska, Oswald has landed at the aquarium.

Oswald, found stranded on a California beach in November, is about 28 weeks old and weighs about 33 pounds, aquarium spokeswoman Erin Paxton said Thursday.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program arranged for his initial rescue and transport to the California aquarium. But there were no experienced otters there to raise Oswald and Juno, another rescued sea otter pup, the Monterey staff said. So they began looking for permanent homes elsewhere for the two pups.

The Newport aquarium agreed to give Oswald a permanent home, while the Oregon Zoo in Portland agreed to take Juno. Newport resident Steve Schuster agreed to fly both pups to Oregon aboard his airplane.

Oswald and Juno traveled in ice-filled crates, accompanied by a mammalogist and veterinarian, landing in Newport on Tuesday afternoon. Juno continued on to Portland, where she immediately began exploring her new surroundings upon arrival, zoo officials said.

Oswald went to the Newport aquarium “and is settling in quite nicely,” Paxton said Thursday afternoon. “He is a really vocal little guy. The mammalogists working with him seem to have a lot of fun getting to know his personality and quirks.”

Oswald will initially be in quarantine before being allowed to meet the other otters at the aquarium. He will make his public debut some time this summer, Paxton said.

About 7 months old, Oswald is a few months younger than Nuka, who came to the Newport aquarium in March.