Pupdate! Experience the Cuteness in Person at Vancouver Aquarium

Hardy swims!

Hardy, the fuzzy-faced sea otter pup that has won hearts around the world, continues to grow bigger and stronger. The little rescued otter now spends most of his day away from his nursery and in the large sea otter habitat where Vancouver Aquarium visitors can watch him practice his swimming and diving.

“Hardy is doing really well,” says Kristi Heffron, senior marine mammal trainer at Vancouver Aquarium. “We’ve received lots of support and interest in Hardy’s care so we’re really glad that visitors can now see him in person and watch him explore and play in the water as well as enjoy ice treats.”

Hardy was rescued in June from waters near northern Vancouver Island; after receiving constant care from staff and volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, he moved to his nursery at Vancouver Aquarium late-July. Now estimated to be three months old, Hardy has transitioned to eating a mixed diet of formula and solids (clam, squid, and pollock), grooming himself (mostly independently), and spending more and more time in the water every day.

Newborn sea otters are helpless and completely reliant on their mother who will carry her pup on her tummy for weeks so she can groom and feed it, and teach it to swim, dive, and forage for food. The pup will usually stay with its mother for about six months before it has the skills to survive on its own. When Hardy arrived at the Rescue Centre he was too young to have learned these essential skills and would not survive in the wild on his own. As such, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has deemed him non-releasable.

Visit Hardy at the Vancouver Aquarium from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily (or from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30 during the Aquarium’s final evening of extended summer hours). Those wishing to see Hardy in an adults-only setting can check out the Aquarium’s After Hours on Thursday, August 31.

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