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SeaWorld San Diego welcomes adorable sea otter 'Chilly' to exhibit
By De'Anthony Taylor,
A southern sea otter rescued offshore in Central California nearly two years ago has found a new home at SeaWorld San Diego.
Chilly, who was named after her thermoregulation condition, was saved offshore Monterey Bay in June 2021 after being entangled in a fishing line that gave her traumatic injuries.
According to SeaWorld, the otter was initially treated at the Marine Mammal Center before being taken to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in August 2021 with the intention of rehabilitation for eventual release.
Park officials say despite being healthy and doing well with other sea otters in rehab care, Chilly's injuries were too extensive and she did not fully heal with fur covering all scarred areas even after a year.
Care staff and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service experts eventually determined she was unlikely to survive in the wild and deemed her non-releasable.
Chilly was brought to SeaWorld San Diego in early May and happily placed in the park's Otter Outlook habitat. In honor of National World Otter Day (May 31), the park announced the otter's new residency.
“We have been impressed with Chilly’s quick adjustment to her new environment at SeaWorld," said John Stewart, Zoological Curator at SeaWorld San Diego.
"She has been getting along with the other otters and her care team, and is exhibiting a playful personality."
SeaWorld says sea otters are listed as threatened animals that face a high risk of extinction and their population in California is less than 3,000.
Southern sea otters are found exclusively along the coast of Central California and can also be seen at Otter Outlook where SeaWorld guests can visit them up close and view their curious and playful behaviors.