Guest post by Seattle Aquarium biologist Julie Carpenter
Hardy is now in his eleventh week at the Vancouver Aquarium and continues to hit milestones! He is growing quickly and becoming quite independent. He weighs about 21 pounds (9.5 kg) and readily eats about a quarter of his body weight each day in clam, squid and pollock fish fillets. He continues to receive bottles of special formula mixed with seafood each day, but is requiring fewer bottles now that he’s eating so much solid food. He continues to play with enrichment toys and ice and is very active when not napping.
This week he spent most of his time on exhibit, including nights! He’s become a proficient diver and can be seen checking out every inch of his underwater habitat. One of his biggest milestones is his ability to care for his fur without help. He can groom his entire coat on his own, which involves a lot of rubbing and licking of his fur to keep it clean so it will wick water away and keep his skin remains dry—no easy task for a pup. Sea otter mothers care for their pups’ fur in the wild until they can do it on their own. Hardy’s caregivers are there to assist with grooming if needed, but he’s doing an outstanding job.