Guest post by Seattle Aquarium Biologist Caroline Hempstead
It is now the fourth week of the Seattle Aquarium staff providing animal care assistance to Hardy, a rescued sea otter at the Vancouver Aquarium. He is growing stronger and bigger and becoming more independent every day. He now weighs 17.9 pounds (8.15 kgs) and spends most of his day exploring one of the main sea otter habitats in the public space. He is able to hold his breath for almost a minute, which allows him to explore the bottom of the pool with his sensitive paws and whiskers.
Hardy’s diet consists of surf clam and squid along with his sea otter pup formula, which he receives from a bottle six times a day. Hardy has been reaching his goal of eating 25 percent of his body mass each day, which is what sea otters, on average, need to eat to stay healthy and strong. For enrichment, Hardy loves to eat and play with ice cubes as well as play with an array of sea otter enrichment toys.