/ Modified jul 3, 2014 1:34 p.m.

Nature: Saving Otter 501

Witness the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 501st attempt to save a stranded orphan otter. Wednesday at 8 p.m. on PBS 6.

nature_otter501_groomed_spot Otter 501 being carefully groomed as part of her 8 month long journey to being re-released back into the wild. Monterey, CA. (PHOTO: PBS)
This is the story of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 501st attempt to save a stranded orphan otter. From her discovery as a newborn pup crying on the beach, through her rehabilitation in secret roof tanks atop the Monterey Bay Aquarium, follow Otter 501 as she learns how to survive in the wild. Watch as she is introduced to her surrogate mother — a method invented by marine biologist Karl Mayer and his team in 2005 — and follow as she struggles to learn how to dive, hunt, eat, and fend for herself in an artificial environment meant to mimic the “real world.”

It is a tale of mysterious threats, persistent failures and small victories, where survival is a long shot at best. Throughout, Otter 501 acts as a lens. Her story reveals a previously unseen world of otter behavior and also acts to illuminate some of the most difficult ecological questions of our time: Do we have a responsibility to save species that hover on the edge? Are our actions the cause of the illnesses sweeping through the sea otter population? And since we simply can’t return the world to its pristine pre-human form, are preservation efforts like this doomed to fail? Otter 501’s survival may hold the hint of an answer.

Nature: Saving Otter 501, Wednesday at 8 p.m. on PBS 6.

Facebook  Icon





Twitter  Icon

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona