2014 03 13 Sea Otter Whiffen In Van
Whiffen on his way to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre

Whiffen the sea otter is pretty lucky he ended up ashore next to a popular Greater Victoria hiking trail. If he'd been on any other Vancouver Island beach, it's unlikely that anyone would have spotted him. Cold, starving and severely injured, its doubtful he would have survived much longer.

Fortunately for this sea otter the crew from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre were called in to lend a hand.


Whiffen was in critical condition and aquarium staff did not hold much hope for the emaciated mammal. Suffering from hypoglycaemia, a damaged intestinal tract, high levels of liver enzymes and a wounded hind leg, the injured sea otter was whisked to the Marine Mammal Rescue Center where he was placed in intensive care.

Looking after an injured sea otter is no small task and staff worked around the clock testing, monitoring and caring for Whiffen. Nursing him back to health could cost as much as $30,000, but it's a cost the rescue centre is willing to incur considering the educational and research opportunities gained in the process. The ultimate goal is to release the sea otter back into the wild.

Whiffen's woes appear to have begun when he injured his hind flipper. Sea otters eat an average of 30 percent of their own body weight each day, so without the ability to gather food, his strength began to wane and his condition deteriorated.

Although staff are still concerned about his health, Whiffen has shown positive signs of recovery and everyone at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is holding thumbs that he will pull through.

This recently released video gives us an update on Whiffen's current condition:


From helping sea lions entangled in plastic to performing surgery on fish, when it comes to helping injured or sick animals no task is too big (or too small) for the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. For updates on Whiffen's progress, visit their Facebook page.

Images: Vancouver Aquarium