Oiled Sea Otter Rehabilitation Course

Chapter 9 – Introduction

Premature separation of a pup from its mother during an oil spill may occur for various reasons: 1) debilitation or death of the female because of oil contamination, 2) pups born at the rehabilitation centers to females unable to adequately care for them, and to a lesser extent, 3) separation resulting from increased boat traffic during spill response operations. Caring for young sea otter pups is time consuming, labor intensive, and requires specialized facilities and expertise. In this chapter, we describe the special needs of sea otter pups placed in rehabilitation facilities and present the protocols for treating and feeding these young animals.