1 month ago
Sea otters at the Steller Cove exhibit at the Oregon Zoo. The younger fellow on the right is Lincoln he is a male southern sea otter. He was born in October of 2017, and was stranded along the California coast when he was less than 2 weeks old. Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Otter Research and Conservation program rescued him. Because he wasn't able to be paired with a surrogate mom at the Aquarium, he came to the Oregon Zoo in December of 2017.
Sea otters, once abundant along the Oregon coast, were hunted to extinction here in the early 1900s and have not established permanent residence in the state for more than a century. A few visiting otters have been sighted in recent years, notably in Depoe Bay in 2009. Though currently protected from hunting by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, they continue to be threatened by oil spills, fishing nets and infectious diseases.