By Josh Saunders
A sea otter has been partying like it’s ma-mmal birthday with cake, treats, gift and more, as he possibly becoming the oldest male in zoos, aquariums, and possibly the world.
Charlie has defied expectation to ‘come of age’ by turning 21, living six years longer than most males, whose lifespan is between 10-15 years.
The celebration held at Aquarium of the Pacific, in Long Beach, California, USA, saw a large crowd sing happy birthday to the overwhelmed otter and watched him enjoy his treats.
Staff gave the elderly marine mammal birthday cake made and shaped from frozen clams, enrichment toys, treats and a fake ID card/license to celebrate the occasion.
Charlie who eats a whopping $15,000 a year of restaurant quality seafood was delighted by the birthday bash with adoring fans last weekend (MARCH 2).
The sea otter, who was rescued after becoming stranded by the team, is now the oldest sea otter alive in any aquarium or zoo, and possibly in the world.
Dudley Wigdahl, Aquarium of the Pacific curator of marine mammals and birds, said: “Charlie received a clam birthday cake. It was ground up clam, frozen in the shape of a cake.
“Outside the exhibit where visitors watched, Aquarium staff gave guests party hats and were led to sing happy birthday to Charlie as the otters enjoyed special treats.
“Charlie received a ‘birthday cake’ of clam, enrichment toys, and more treats. His cake was in the form of an ‘I.D./license’ that stated ‘21 in 2018’.
“Charlie didn’t devour his treats right away but went for a swim first.
“The Aquarium of the Pacific’s animal husbandry staff then showed him to his treats by using signals.
“Charlie immediately grabbed a large tube filled with treats and dove back into the water to feed on his special birthday treats while swimming on his back.
“The crowd watched and smiled as Charlie and the other otters devoured party treats from the ice pile on which they were placed.
“Charlie is certainly defying the average age. The typical life span for a male sea otter is about 10-15 years and about 15-20 years for females in the wild.
“Charlie is showing signs of being a geriatric animal, such as a lower activity level and decreased vision, but for an animal of his age, he is doing well.”
The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet areexplored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions.
The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples.
Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include FROGS: Dazzling and Dangerous exhibit, the Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and Shark Lagoon.
Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists.
Mr Wigdahl added: “The non-profit Aquarium of the Pacific provides a home for rescued sea otters like Charlie.
“All of the sea otters at Aquarium of the Pacific are rescued animals that the government deemed non-releasable to the wild because they could not survive on their own.”