The sea otter pup rescued in Port Hardy that was sent to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in Vancouver. (Davida Hudson photo)

The sea otter pup rescued in Port Hardy that was sent to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in Vancouver. (Davida Hudson photo)

Quatse the abandoned sea otter pup recovering after Port Hardy rescue

Rescued sea otter pup survives flight to Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in Vancouver

Quatse the sea otter pup is recovering in Vancouver thanks to the quick action of some North Island residents.

The pup was found abandoned on a beach in Port Hardy on Sunday morning by local residents, who quickly reported her to area marine researcher Jackie (the Marine Detective) Hildering, as well as the B.C. Marine Mammal Reporting Network hotline.

At around 3:30 p.m., Alyssa Berube (who has done numerous animal rescues in the North Island) received a phone call from Hildering, asking if she could pass Berube’s contact information on to Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

“Lindsaye from MMR phoned me right away and instructed me to go meet the DFO officer down at the waterfront,” Berube said. “I arrived on scene to find DFO standing out where the tide was low, beside a sleeping otter pup.”

RELATED: Plastic band removed from neck of Greater Victoria sea lion

RELATED: 300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Berube’s husband, Patrick, hauled a large crate down to the beach, while she draped a blanket over the otter and scooped it into the crate.

Berube noted it was “very sleepy at first and then perked up slightly once in the cage,” adding the animal was “at least 25 pounds of jello and teeth.”

After she secured the crate into her truck, the pup began to scream its head off.

“On instruction from MMR, I brought a bag of ice cubes to offer it,” Berube said, adding she put some cubes in the crate and then turned off all the heat in her truck as otters need to stay in a cold environment.

Berube had exactly two hours to get to the Pacific Coastal airport in Campbell River to make a 6 p.m. flight, in order to get the pup to the Vancouver aquarium.

“I drove down while the baby screamed on and off and it’s screams grew weaker and weaker,” said Berube. “I froze my toes off, with only my seat heater for warmth to keep the baby at a low temperature. I made it to the airport by 6:07 p.m. and rushed her inside to make the flight.”

She said the airport staff were really good about the slight delay, and the otter at this point “was breathing, but mostly unresponsive.”

The pup made it to Vancouver alive. Berube received a phone call from Akhurst at 7:45 p.m., where she could hear the baby’s screams in the background that told her “she was doing okay.”

According to Berube, MMR staff worked with the pup — named Quatse, in honour of the Quatse River — throughout the night.

At this point it is uncertain whether she can be released back into the wild. She’s “alive, well, has a healthy appetite and confirmed to be a girl!” said Berube. “They believe she’s still dependent on her mother (who was no where to be found) but she had teeth already so she at least has a fighting chance, age wise.”

The Marine Education and Research Society Facebook page recommends certain steps when finding an animal in distress. You should not touch the animal, keep your distance, ensure dogs stay away, and do not further stress the animal while alerting expertise/authorities.

MERS added the aim when rescuing animals is always for reintroduction into the wild, which means that care includes avoiding habituation to humans.

If you see a marine mammal in trouble, you can call B.C. Marine Mammal Reporting Network hotline at 1-800-465-4336.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Animalsrescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The sea otter pup getting ready for its flight to Vancouver. (Alyssa Berube photo)

The sea otter pup getting ready for its flight to Vancouver. (Alyssa Berube photo)

The sea otter pup in its cage. (Alyssa Berube photo)

The sea otter pup in its cage. (Alyssa Berube photo)

Just Posted

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Strathcona Gardens is one of many recreation opportunities that could be investigated during a feasibility study. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Strathcona rural and municipal directors disagree on recreation study

Rural directors say study would not affect them, don’t want to pay for it

Red dresses hang on the Longhouse at Campbell River’s Robert Ostler Park on May 5, which is designated as Red Dress Day to commemorate murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. A gathering at the Longhouse was held to mark the day and the MMWIG. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Campbell River gathering commemorates murdered and missing women and girls

Red Dress Day marked by ceremony at Robert Ostler Park

City of Campbell River crews work to repair a four-inch water main near Carihi Secondary School. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Main break leaves Campbell River neighbourhood without water

Students sent home early from Carihi Secondary, businesses closed

The arena at Strathcona Gardens could be in the running for the 2022 Kraft Hockeyville competition. File photo – Campbell River Mirror
Strathcona Gardens eyes 2022 Kraft Hockeyville competition

Winner gets to host a pre-season NHL game and $250,000 to help fix their arena

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

Most Read