PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – An orphaned pup has a new home with the Oregon Zoo’s sea otter family.
Uni, a 5-month-old sea otter, arrived at the zoo this week and is being cared for in a behind-the-scene nursery.
Uni was found stranded on a beach near Santa Cruz in December. The tiny pup was brought to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s rescue and care program, but was unable to be paired with a surrogate mom.
Uni was eventually deemed non-releasable by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Uni – which is the Japanese word for sea urchin – is now 24 pounds. Because of their high metabolism, sea otters eat about 25% of their weight in clams, crabs, shrimp, sea urchins, mussels, squid and fish each day.
"We're thrilled to be able to give Uni a home," said Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey, the zoo's senior marine mammal keeper. "She's already showing us her playful personality. I think she's going to have a lot of fun here with our sea otters Lincoln and Juno."
Visitors should get their first look at Uni next month, when she joins the zoo’s adult sea otters in the pool at the Steller Cove marine life habitat.
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