Northern Sea Otters at SeaWorld San Diego

Northern Sea Otters

Meet Our New Northern Sea Otters at Wild Arctic!

Before you meet Cinder and Spruce, why not learn a few fun facts about their fascinating species? 

The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family but the smallest marine mammal. A majority of the world’s sea otters are found in Alaska. In some of these areas, a female northern sea otter’s home range may include up to 10 miles of coastline. 

The northern sea otter population has experienced a dramatic decline in population since the 1990s, most likely due to increased predation by killer whales. Another common predator is the bald eagle, which typically feeds on young northern sea otter pups.
 
Speaking of pups, sea otters give birth throughout the year, with peaks in late May and June. Northern sea otters are born with eyes open, first teeth already emerging, and a full coat of dense fur that enables them to float. Sea otter pups may begin to swim and take solid food at about four weeks, and dive at six weeks. Pups remain dependent on their mothers for an average of six months.

Fully grown northern sea otters are slightly larger than California sea otters. Males weigh an average of 60–85 pounds, while females range from 35–60 pounds. In comparison to other otter species, sea otters are somewhat stockier with larger ribcages. All otters have very flexible bodies, which allow them to groom almost every inch of their fur. They use their forefeet for grooming, finding food, and eating—but not for swimming.
 
Sea otters spend most of their lives in the water since they are quite awkward on land. A sea otter eats in the water, lying on its back, with its food on its chest. Even northern sea otters, which spend a considerable amount of time on land, generally eat all their food in the water and consume about 30% of their body weight each day. 

Meet the Northern Sea Otters

Cinder the Northern Sea Otter at SeaWorld San Diego

Cinder

Cinder

Cinder was rescued near Homer, Alaska at just a few days old in August of 2019. When she was taken in, she was dehydrated and underweight. At the time of Cinder’s rescue, there were several wildfires blocking her path to Alaska SeaLife Center, where she would be rehabilitated. A pilot volunteered to fly her to safety and was given the opportunity to name her. Once her condition stabilized, she was deemed non-releasable by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service. Cinder now enjoys her new life at SeaWorld San Diego’s Wild Arctic. She loves ice baths, is very attached to her keepers, and is intelligent and quick to learn new behaviors!
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Spruce the Northern Sea Otter at SeaWorld San Diego

Spruce

Spruce

Spruce was rescued near Homer, Alaska at only three weeks old in January of 2020. He was found alone and stranded on a beach, with his fur covered in ice. He was immediately taken to Alaska SeaLife Center for examinations and rehabilitation. One of SeaWorld’s Wild Arctic keepers traveled to Alaska and stayed with Spruce to help heal and raise him. After about a month of care, he was introduced to his new home in Wild Arctic at SeaWorld San Diego. Spruce is inquisitive, independent (but social), and goofy. He enjoys carrying his toys around on his chest!
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  • Per state restrictions, attendance is generally limited to California in-state visitors. Fully vaccinated persons from out-of-state can visit the park if they show proof of a fully completed COVID-19 vaccine. Starting June 15, SeaWorld San Diego may return to usual operations with no COVID-19 restrictions.