Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Otter attacked by great white shark recovered from surgery

A 7-year-old male sea otter attacked by what researchers guess was a great white shark has recovered from surgery, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The otter washed up on a beach near the aquarium in January. Aquarium staff found two fresh bite wounds on the animal's left shoulder, likely from a shark, experts said.

During a three-hour surgery at the aquarium, a veterinary surgical specialist attached small surgical steel plates to each broken bone. The otter survived the procedure and four hours of anesthesia, and was eating and grooming within hours using the surgically repaired limb.

"This was a major, very aggressive procedure done on this animal," said aquarium veterinarian Mike Murray, who also works for the Sea Otter Research and Conservation program. "It really validates that these are tough little guys who can be good surgical candidates."
The otter was released April 17.


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