Mother's Day in the Animal Kingdom

Sunday, May 9, 2010  |  Updated 9:30 AM PDT
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Mother's Day in the Animal Kingdom

AP

Otter to self: Why is this pager being thrown at me?

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Mother's Day celebrations are in store for two adult female sea  otters who were raised by surrogate mothers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and  have given birth in the wild to their second pups.

Five pups have now been born in the wild to otters raised by  surrogates at the aquarium and then released.

"These births and the successful weaning of pups in the world by  surrogate-reared individuals is significant because it indicates that these  sea otters are not only surviving following release, but also contributing  reproductively to the wild population," said the aquarium's Animal Care  Coordinator Karl Mayer. "This is the benchmark of successful rehabilitation  and reintroduction efforts."
     
Both adult otters are almost 5 years old and gave birth near Moss  Landing, according to the aquarium.
     
Sixty percent of surrogate-reared pups have survived a minimum of  one year after release, compared to less than 30 percent survival for pups  reared exclusively by people, aquarium officials said.
     
Mayer said he and other staff will continue to monitor both pairs  of mothers and pups regularly.
 

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