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Alaska SeaLife Center news

Posted: Monday, July 16, 2001

Alaska SeaLife Center news

Injured otter keeps rehab busy

An injured male sea otter, approximately 2 to 3 years old, arrived at the Alaska SeaLife Center at 6 a.m. on July 4. The center rehabilitation program received a call from Homer around 5 p.m. the day before.

Rehab staff members and interns made the trip to Homer late that night to assess the situation.

The otter had an injured hind flipper and a four-inch laceration on its shoulder, possibly caused by a boat propeller. It was hypoglycemic and lethargic and staff believed the infected laceration was likely hindering adequate foraging.

The otter is currently in stable condition and being treated for its injuries.

Russian scientists bring research to center

Elena Kroutchankova and Mikhail Goltsman from Lomonosov Moscow State University have begun work on a research project at the center focused on maternal investment in Steller sea lions. They will be using the center's remote camera on Chiswell Island, a sea lion rookery 35 miles south of the center, to collect data on the specific behavioral interactions between Steller sea lion mothers and pups.

Observations and information obtained from the Chiswell Steller sea lion population will be compared with Steller sea lion populations on the Commander Islands in Kamchatka, Russia, where Steller sea lion numbers are not in decline. The project will investigate the theory that a lack of sufficient pup rearing by Steller sea lion mothers has led, at least in part, to the sharp decline in sea lion populations since the 1970s.

Art show goes wild in lobby

The annual juried wildlife and nature photography traveling exhibit known as alaskaWILD is currently at the center in the main lobby. The show celebrates the spirit and wild uniqueness of Alaska. Images selected for the exhibit encompass many aspects of Alaska, including its landscape, the intimacy of nature, its animals and human reaction or interaction. Prints can be purchased at the center and range in price from $32 to $400. Visitors also are encouraged to participate in the People's Choice Award by voting for the piece of art they find most appealing. The center will host the show through Aug. 9.

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