Saturday afternoon I explored the Alaska Sea Life Center, They have several exhibits there, with sea birds, sea lions, harbor seals and they have 3 sea otters who are ready to be rehomed to another such center or zoo. Sea otters, if taken in young, can’t be set free because in the wild they would normally spend up to 2 years with their mother learning. If that learning time is significantly shortened or non-existant they become dependent. The center offers some “behind the scenes” tours that take about an hour each and give you insight into the care of their animals, their rehab program (very extensive) and a chance to learn more about individual critters. I took the one for the sea otters and the last part of the tour included betting pretty close to them (plexiglass between them and the tour people) as we watched the trainer who is working with them. She explained everything she did, not “training”them to do tricks or abnormal things but getting them to respond in a positive way so that should they need handling or exams they will accept it without trauma. They get lots of fishy bits as rewards for positive actions. The trainer said that the sea otters are very lively and the most inventive critters.
Seward, Day Two