Gibson, a 5-week-old southern sea otter, rests at the Georgia Aquarium, after being stranded and rescued on the California coast. CONTRIBUTED: GEORGIA AQUARIUM
Photo: Addison Hill
Photo: Addison Hill

Rescued baby sea otters come to Georgia Aquarium

A pair of rescued baby sea otters, who were stranded on the California coast earlier this year, have been adopted by the Georgia Aquarium.

On Wednesday the aquarium released photos of the infants, Mara, a 10-week-old female, and Gibson, a 5-week-old male.

According to the aquarium the otters will stay behind the scenes, “for the foreseeable future while they acclimate to their new home.”

Mara is eating fish and swimming on her own, the aquarium reports, while the younger Gibson is still being bottle fed.

Mara was one week old when she was stranded near Port San Luis in January. Rescuers made attempts to locate her mother but weren’t successful.

Mara is about 10 weeks old, and is one of two sea otter pups that have been adopted by the Georgia Aquarium after being stranded on the California coast. She is seen here with Dennis Christen, senior director of zoological operations. CONTRIBUTED: GEORGIA AQUARIUM

While she was being cared for at a California facility, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deemed her unreleasable.

The Georgia Aquarium was chosen as a new home for the pup because of its ability to provide 24-hour care. While a member of the Georgia Aquarium staff was in California to prepare Mara for a trip to Georgia, another pup stranded.

Gibson, who was a week old, was separated from his mother during a storm, and rescuers were unable to bring them back together.

Since the Georgia staffers were already bringing Mara back to Atlanta, they made a request to adopt Gibson as well.

Both flew to Atlanta on a private jet that had been cooled to 60-65 degrees -- their preferred thermostat setting.

The infants will spent some time acclimating to their new surroundings before joining Brighton, Bixby, and Cruz, the aquarium’s other sea otters. In February the oldest sea otter in the Georgia Aquarium group, Oz, a resident at the aquarium since it opened in 2005, passed away.

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