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” Amalia “, the Sea Otter, has died at Lisbon Oceanarium

Amalia at the Oceanarium. Photo courtesy of: Mafalda Frade

 

“Amalia” , the Sea Otter, one of the most charismatic inhabitants of the Lisbon Oceanarium, died yesterday morning, Thursday, December 12, 2013 . Just as with her male partner, “Eusebio” three years ago, her death is not unexpected – given her age.

“Amalia” originally came from Alaska to the Oceanarium 16 years ago, already an adult. She was seen and admired by over 17 million people from all over the world. This sea otter served as an ambassador for her species and for Ocean Conservation. She was the leading character in thousands of photographs, many educational programs, guided tours, documentaries and articles.

According to the Curator of the Lisbon Oceanarium, Núria Baylina, “( … ) because of her advanced age we were already observing the natural signs aging. We know that, on average, sea otters live for about 20 years and our estimate is that she had already passed that age.” She added that ” ( … ) it is a huge loss to the Oceanarium , as “Amalia” was one of our most emblematic animals, cherished by our entire team and by public in general.”

The pair of sea otters “Eusebio” and “Amalia”, famous all over the world during and after the EXPO 1998, produced many offspring which is indeed very uncommon in public aquaria. Two of the female cubs, ‘Maré’ and ‘Micas’ aged 15 and 12 respectively, returned to the Oceanarium in 2010, having been relocated to the Rotterdam Zoo under a conservation program called “Breeding Loan”. This program aims to ensure the existence of a genetically healthy captive population.

The Lisbon Oceanarium is the only aquarium in Europe where sea otters can be observed.

Amália with her cub. Photo courtesy of: Abílio Leitão

 

 

About the Sea Otters, ‘Maré’ and ‘Micas’

“Maré” was the first offspring, female, born in Lisbon Oceanarium on May 2, 1998. About a year after her birth she was sent to the Aquarium of Antwerp Zoo.

“Micas”, another female sea otter was born on July 26, 2001,  and, also a year later, was transferred to Rotterdam Zoo. 

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