Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Injured Sea Otter on Central Oregon Coast May Have Shark Bites

Published 12/01/21 at 6:12 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Injured Sea Otter on Central Oregon Coast May Have Shark Bites

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials now that winter is here
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Winter's enticing specials now
In Lincoln City:
Major winter specials now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials this season
In Newport:
Look for many specials
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials and tempting prices now
In Yachats, Florence
Big deals available; lodgings not listed anywhere else
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Newport, Oregon) – Staff at Oregon Coast Aquarium rescued an injured sea sea otter at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area at Newport Tuesday, and are now doing their best to nurse it back to health. (Photos courtesy Oregon Coast Aquarium)

The sea otter was spotted hauling ashore at Cobble Beach by Chief Park Ranger Jay Moeller, who called in aquarium staff immediately. After receiving authorization from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, aquarium staff coordinated with Jim Rice of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network to retrieve the animal and transport it to the Aquarium for triage and immediate care.

Finding a sea otter on the Oregon coast is rare because they were hunted to extinction in the area over 100 years ago. Periodically, random individuals from colonies farther north are spotted here, while river otters are frequently misidentified by the public as sea otters.

The fact that it's a rare find made taking care of the sea otter that much more important.

Oregon Coast Aquarium spokesman Courtney Klug said the sea otter is an adult male and it was not in good condition. Staff say it was emaciated, had poor mobility, its fur was in bad condition, and it appeared to have numerous lacerations and puncture wounds. Aquarium staff believe this may well be a shark bite, but it's not a positive identification.

Currently, the otter is being treated for infection, with husbandry and veterinary staff monitoring its condition closely.

“While he is alert and accepting food, his prognosis remains guarded,” Klug said.

Aquarium staff are keeping the sea otter away from interacting with humans to reduce stress on the animal and to prepare him for release back into the wild.

“The next few days will be critical in his recovery path and we hope to see his odds improve daily, but it is too early to predict this,” said OCAq's Director of Husbandry Jim Burke. “Our veterinary and rehab staff will do all we can to act quickly to improve his chances of release back into the wild.”

It's believed this was the same sea otter spotted over the last few weeks around the Yaquina Head, stirring up some excitement about the possible return of the species to the Oregon coast.

“This sea otter means a lot to many of us Oregonians,” said Oregon Coast Aquarium's Curator of Marine Mammals Brittany Blades. “I never thought I would get to see a live sea otter living on the Oregon Coast until 3 weeks ago when I saw this otter swimming, foraging and sleeping around Yaquina Head.”

When individuals of the species travel southward into Oregon they are typically male. Often they are looking for mates.

Back in April of this year, Seaside Aquarium helped rescued a sick sea otter found onshore in the Manzanita area, however it died. Sea otters do not wander onto land unless they are sick or injured.

Hotels in Newport - Where to eat - Newport Maps and Virtual Tours


MORE PHOTOS BELOW






Courtesy Oregon Coast Aquarium: veterinary staff examine an x-ray of the sea otter

Below: photos of the sea otter found in April, courtesy Seaside Aquarium



More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....


Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Reflections on - and in - the Oregon Coast: photo essay of the surreal
Most striking is that glassy surface the beach can acquire, creating a magical mirror
Explore A Distinctive Oregon Coast Ecosystem with July 1 Netarts Spit Hike Ev...
Netarts Spit: Dunes, Birds, and More happens July 1. Oceanside events
On Edge of Central and South Oregon Coast, Florence's Killer Plants, Aerial V...
Trails, horses, wilderness lakes, campgrounds, some particularly strange creatures
Part II, Manzanita 300-Yr-Old Spanish Galleon Find: Historic Surprises for Or...
Some information not previously released, struggles to retrieve the pieces. Sciences
Pieces of Legendary Oregon Coast Spanish Galleon Wreck Retrieved Near Manzani...
OCBC exclusive: how rare a find, misadventures, setbacks, scientific clues. History, Sciences
Encounters with the Science of Sunsets, Spring and Foam on Oregon Coast
Knowing the science of what's happening really adds to the experience. Weather
Biplane Ride Near Florence a Joyful Thrill Ride Above Central Oregon Coast
Tomeny Aero takes you up around Florence, the lighthouse, Yachats or the dunes
A Tale of Two Oregon Coast Blobs and Their Past: One You Know, One You Don't
A fiery, jolting geologic history at Cascade Head, Cape Meares. Neskowin, Oceanside, geology

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted