In late October, the tiny otter was found stranded in Morro Bay Harbor when he was less than two weeks old. He was unable to pair with a surrogate mom, so U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials decided he shouldn’t be released back into the wild.
The otter pup arrived in Portland in December and is now being cared for at the zoo’s Steller Cove marine life habitat.
On December 18, the zoo was proud to announce the pup, previously referred to as “805,” was officially given a name by his new caregivers.
“Lincoln” was named to draw attention to the fact sea otters were once found off the Oregon Coast in places like Lincoln City, the zoo wrote. “The species was hunted to extinction along the Oregon coast in the early 1900s and has not established permanent residence in the state for more than a century. A few visiting otters have been sighted in recent years, notably in Depoe Bay in 2009.”
9-week-old Lincoln is learning to dive on his own. “He’s full of spunk, very squeaky and fun to be around. He also takes a lot of naps — that’s when he’s at his fluffiest,” said Oregon Zoo marine life keeper Sara Morgan.
Lincoln is being kept behind-the-scenes for now, but the zoo expects he should be able to join the zoo’s other adult sea otter in the next month or two.