Aquarium Gets a New Member: AN OTTER!

The Bay-Farer introduces students to news writing through the publication of a monthly newspaper. The workshop teaches students traditional writing skills, like composing a lead and conducting an interview, while exploring topics that interest them.

An otter was found stranded! Otter pup 502 (her intake number) was found on June 30 by the CA Department of Fish and Game and the Marine Mammal Center. When she was taken to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Otter 502 began her new life.
Upon arriving, 502 met her non-official surrogate mom, Joy. Joy is known for her good instincts and calmness. She has surrogated 12 otter pups! Wow!

Also upon arriving, 502 was examined by Dr. Mike Murray, and he confirmed the suspicions that 502 had Acanthocephalan peritonitis. She was also dehydrated and hungry. Her disease was caused by eating sand crabs infested with thorny0headed worms. Ick! The disease causes inflammation in the intestines. This was cured with a trick—antibiotics and a de-wormer mixed into a popsicle for otters. Isn’t that weird?

Although pretty much cured, 502 will not return to the wild. It’s believed that this is because the doctors believe that 502 will get a spurt of her previous infection and die. This is really too bad. At least she won’t get eaten.

A lot of people feel really bad for the otter. Here’s what some people have to say: Lynn Lebo-Planas says, “Poor little thing! I really can’t wait to see her, and I hope she gets a better name.” “Lots of sympathy, lots of sympathy,” Yesenia Conde says. “I hope she gets better soon,” sympathizes Reece Bissinger. “Aww maan!” Leah Rice cries. These people are sympathetic, as you can see.

Now, you’ll want to know how to help the otters, because this year has had the lowest otter count in a decade. Well, you can save water, not pollute, watch out for storm drains, and don’t buy otter fur (it’s illegal, so I don’t know why you would).

Now that you know about this catastrophe, tell others to look out for these cute creatures. If everyone works together, their population will rise. 502’s story ends here, but the fight for a non-endangered otter species has not.

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