Naming of otter pups brightens Vancouver Aquarium as vets fight to save beluga

By The Canadian Press
November 23, 2016 - 2:13pm

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Aquarium says despite recent challenges, as staff cope with the death of one beluga whale and the critical illness of another, some new residents of the aquarium are helping to raise spirits.

In a tweet, aquarium officials say names have been selected for the two rescued Alaskan sea otter pups that arrived at the facility on Nov. 1.

The male pup, found stranded in Kachemak Bay, Alaska, has been named Mak, after his rescue site.

The female pup, found by the U.S. Coast Guard on a beach southwest of Anchorage has been named Kunik, which is the Inuktitut word for a traditional Inuit greeting, or "kiss."

Experts believe both pups were abandoned by their mothers and at less than six months of age are considered non-releasable and will require life-long care.

"The pups are thriving in their new habitat," the aquarium says on its website. 

Aquarium vets, meanwhile, are continuing round-the-clock care for 29-year-old beluga Aurora, who has developed the same symptoms exhibited by her daughter Qila, just before the 21-year-old whale died last week.

The Canadian Press

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