Sea otter with severe gunshot wounds rescued off B.C. coast

A injured sea otter shakes off the water as he plays in its pool at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. The otter who suffered from gunshot wounds to his head and body was was rescued from Tofino, B.C. on Oct. 18.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER - An adult sea otter found with gunshot wounds to its head and body is fighting for its life after being rescued by the Vancouver Aquarium.

Veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena says the animal was rescued last Friday near Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, where it was found with serious injuries.

Haulena says the now-blind sea otter's right hind flipper was fractured, and x-rays have shown that the animal was shot with a shot gun.

Haulena says his veterinary team have partially amputated the sea otter's injured flipper, and they are giving it fluids, medication and around-the-clock care.

Since the sea otter cannot groom itself because of its injuries, aquarium staff are also trying to stabilize its temperature by towel- and blow-drying it.

Haulena says the animal remains in critical condition, but aquarium staff are hopeful that it will recover.

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