KDLG: Mishka, a sea otter rescued last summer near Port Moller, was safely relocated to the Seattle Aquarium and made a debut public appearance Sunday.
The now six-month-old has been under the care of the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward. She was found as a newborn, tangled in a fishing net last July in Port Moller. Staff at ASLC say Mishka now weighs a healthy 26 pounds, and has transitioned from a bottle-fed formula to a diet of capelin, surf clams, crab, mussels, and squid.
Mishka, Russian for "little bear", has been under round-the-clock care at ASLC since her rescue. Staff traveled with her to ensure a safe transfer to the Seattle Aquarium.
Staff at the Aquarium will gradually acclimate Mishka to her new outdoor surroundings, and when she's ready, Mishka will be introduced to her first new companion Aniak.
Sea otters were nearly hunted to extinction in the late 1800s, according to the Seattle Aquarium. By the year 1900, the population of sea otters was less than 2000. The Fur Seal Treaty of 1911 and the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 have helped the population rebound.