Oregon Coast Aquarium sea otter turns 16 - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Coast Aquarium sea otter turns 16

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Judge the Sea Otter turned 16 earlier this month. He is the oldest otter in a group of three Southern sea otters and one Northern sea otter at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

With the average lifespan of male sea otters being between 10 to 15 years in captivity, Judge is considered a long-lived representation of his species.

After being orphaned and stranded on Asilomar Beach, in Pacific Grove, CA at 2 weeks old, Judge was rescued and taken to Monterey Bay Aquarium for rehabilitation on June 25, 2000.

MBA staff released Judge back into the wild soon after his rescue but shortly brought him back after he was unable to adapt to his new way of life.

"Judge didn't appear to pick up good feeding habits before that initial stranding in 2000, and he developed a habit of approaching people [in kayaks, on docks, etc.], probably in the hopes that they would feed him," said Ken Lytwyn, Curator of Mammals at the Aquarium.

Between 2001 and 2003 Judge was released and brought back to MBA eight separate times for different reasons, leading to him being deemed non-releasable and transferred to Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Being the oldest Southern sea otter living on the Oregon coast, he is truly and ambassador for otters in the Pacific Northwest. The Southern sea otter is currently considered extinct off Oregon's coast and is listed under the Endangered Species Act in their existing range in California.

Judge has delighted visitors at the Aquarium since his arrival in December 2003. He can be seen asserting his dominance by wrestling with his much younger pool mates or in his usual spots, right against the viewing windows, for some time to come.

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