Rosa (sea otter)

Last updated

Rosa
Species Sea otter
SexFemale
BornAugust 1999
DiedJune 5, 2024(2024-06-05) (aged 24)
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey, California, U.S.

Rosa (August 1999 – June 5, 2024) was a female sea otter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She was known for being the aquarium's oldest resident otter, and as a surrogate mother for 15 abandoned otters at the aquarium.

Contents

Early life

Rosa was born in late August 1999. She was found stranded on a beach in Santa Cruz County, California, when she was four weeks old and was brought to the aquarium. Rosa weighed five pounds at the time. [1] [2] [3] She was released into the wild at the age of two, but had to be returned to the aquarium two years later, because she continued to interact with humans by jumping on swimmers and kayakers, which was a risk to herself and humans. [1] [2] [4]

Appearance, habits, and care

One of the otters at Monterey Bay Aquarium in 2007 Sea otter (1835909880).jpg
One of the otters at Monterey Bay Aquarium in 2007

Rosa was characterized by her large figure with soft silver colored fur and white freckles on her head. [1] [5] She could be seen on the aquarium's live sea otter cam and normally rested on the water surface at the center window after feeding. [1] For a period of time she enjoyed eating live food with shells and crabs, eating over 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of food per day. [6] [7] She raised 15 orphaned sea otter pups before retiring in 2019, with her last otters being released into the wild in October of that year. [1] [2] [5] Late in her life, she was slowed down by a heart condition and very limited eyesight. [3] [8] She lived to her old age by being fed with plastic balls, called boomer balls, or other toys to deliver food, and she was groomed regularly by a health monitoring team that performed personal training sessions that accommodated Rosa's limits. [3] Rosa received a physical checkup three times a year with radiographs, blood tests, and dental care. [3] [7] The aquarium staff built a ramp in 2013 to deal with potential arthritis. [3] Her diet was adjusted based on her weight which was regularly checked. [7] Husbandry training learned by Rosa included getting on weight scales, sticking up her paws for inspection, allowing the use of eyedrops on her, and opening her mouth for inspection. Like many other otters at the aquarium, she had over 20 different trained behaviors. [7]

Name origin

Some of the otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, including Rosa, are named after John Steinbeck characters. Rosa's name originates from the short novel Tortilla Flat . [1] In a livestream celebrating her 24th birthday, [9] it was stated that her original name was Faye, but was changed to Rosa, as it was deemed too similar to another otter's name at the time. [10]

Rosa's birthday

Since Rosa's 20th birthday in 2019, Twitch streamer and YouTuber Douglas Wreden, also known as DougDoug, had hosted annual charity livestreams to raise money for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. [11] These streams contributed to Rosa's popularity. [12] Wreden and his community raised over $14,000 for her 22nd birthday. [11] During his stream celebrating Rosa's 23rd birthday, he and his Twitch viewers raised over $104,000 for the aquarium. [13] In August 2023, Wreden held two streams for Rosa's 24th birthday, raising a total of $302,014.21. [14] In total, Wreden has raised over $420,000 for Monterey Bay Aquarium. [11] [14] He has stated that he plans to do another stream on what would have been her 25th birthday in memorial of Rosa. [15]

Death

Rosa died on June 5, 2024, having been euthanized due to age-related health conditions. [16] At the time of her death, she was the oldest sea otter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium at 24 years 9 months. [10] She was older than the oldest known male sea otter in the United States, Adaa, who lived to be 22 years 8 months, [17] but not older than the oldest known female otter, Etika, who lived to be approximately 28 years old. [18]

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References

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  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Caring for Rosa as she ages". www.montereybayaquarium.org. Archived from the original on May 25, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  4. Herrera, James (August 31, 2021). "Monterey Bay Aquarium celebrates surrogate mom Rosa the otter's birthday". Monterey Herald. Archived from the original on September 3, 2021. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  5. 1 2 Teague, Courtney (September 3, 2021). "This CA Sea Otter Just Celebrated Her 22nd Birthday". San Francisco, CA Patch. Archived from the original on May 30, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  6. "Monterey Bay Aquarium's tweet about Rosa's diet". Twitter. Archived from the original on May 30, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Special #SeaOtterAwarenessWeek Enrichment with Aquarist Stephany! | Live From The Aquarium, September 23, 2021, archived from the original on May 30, 2022, retrieved May 30, 2022
  8. Meet Rosa The Sea Otter! | Monterey Bay Aquarium's Pawesome Ladies, September 27, 2019, archived from the original on July 20, 2022, retrieved July 17, 2022
  9. "Happy 24th Birthday, Rosa!". YouTube. Monterey Bay Aquarium. August 24, 2023. Archived from the original on August 24, 2023. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  10. 1 2 "Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Otter Rosa Has Died". www.montereybayaquarium.org. Archived from the original on June 6, 2024. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  11. 1 2 3 "Extraordinary birthday shell-ebrations for Rosa the sea otter". www.montereybayaquarium.org. Archived from the original on May 25, 2022. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  12. "An Extraordinary 22nd Birthday Party for Rosa the Sea Otter". montereybayaquarium.org. Archived from the original on May 25, 2022. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  13. "YouTuber raises $100,000 for Monterey Bay Aquarium". KSBW. October 5, 2022. Archived from the original on November 7, 2022. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  14. 1 2 "we just raised $302,000 for the Monterey Bay Aquarium..." X (formerly Twitter). Archived from the original on November 3, 2023. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  15. @DougDougFood (June 6, 2024). "and yes of course we will still do a fundraiser for the aquarium this year" (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 6, 2024 via Twitter.
  16. Tom, Matthew (June 5, 2024). "Rosa, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's oldest resident sea otter, has died". SFGATE. Archived from the original on June 6, 2024. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  17. Mapes, Lynda V. (February 28, 2022). "Adaa, the oldest known male sea otter in the U.S., euthanized at Seattle Aquarium". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on April 18, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  18. "Oldest Sea Otter in Captivity Ever". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on August 11, 2022. Retrieved August 11, 2022.