October 3, 2012
Visitors to the Aquarium will now be able to see Betty the sea otter on exhibit in the BP Sea Otter Habitat. At ten months old and weighing in at thirty-two pounds, Betty is now large enough to join the Aquarium’s other southern sea otters. She has also learned several training commands, including signals to go in and come out of the water, follow the trainer, and come to a target pole, allowing her to participate in daily sea otter shows.
Betty was named in honor of Aquarium supporter Betty White. The young otter was found as a pup separated from her mother at just a few weeks old in Northern California. She was deemed non-releasable to the wild by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as she had not yet learned the necessary survival skills. After her rescue, Betty was transferred to the Sea Otter Research and Conservation center in Monterey. U.S. Fish and Wildlife then selected the Aquarium of the Pacific as her permanent home. She arrived at the Aquarium in March. Upon her arrival, Aquarium staff members worked around the clock to feed and care for Betty.
Betty can be recognized by her white cheeks and brown head, although she eventually will most likely resemble Ollie with an all-white head, Aquarium husbandry staff members say. Staff members have nicknamed her Banshee, as she screams loudly when she doesn’t get her way. Her favorite foods in order of preference are shrimp, clams, and squid.