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SeaWorld caring for orphaned sea otter pup

SAN DIEGO -- SeaWorld San Diego announced Wednesday that its animal rescue team is caring for a 5-week-old northern sea otter that was found stranded near Homer, Alaska, last month.

The sea otter pup was initially taken to the Homer Vet Clinic, then transferred to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. The pup, named Cinder, was flown to SeaWorld on Saturday and is now receiving constant care in the park's sea otter nursery.

Cinder has already shown an increased appetite and is being fed frequently to help her put on weight. Animal care staff are also helping to teach her how to swim and groom herself, according to SeaWorld. Eventually, she is expected to join the park's four other female otters, all of whom were also rescued as pups.

"The pup is doing well so far," said Bill Hoffman, SeaWorld's curator of mammals. "We've seen a lot of positives. We've seen some growth, we've seen an increase in weight and appetite and she seems to be getting used to her new surroundings very well."

The rescue team has rescued and rehabilitated 841 marine animals this year, many of them California sea lions and various species of seals. The team has also rescued and rehabilitated one sea turtle and more than 600 marine birds.

SeaWorld San Diego's rescue team has saved and rehabilitated more than 20,000 animals since the park's founding in 1964. The theme park chain's three locations in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio have rescued more than 35,000 animals combined.

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