The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach threw a bash Saturday to celebrate the 22nd birthday of “Charlie,” the oldest southern sea otter living in at aquarium or zoo.
Aquarium staff prepared a special seafood birthday cake for the occasion, which Charlie gleefully devoured in videos posted by the nonprofit organization to social media.
The otter came to the aquarium after being orphaned during the El Nino-driven storms of 1997, the aquarium said in a written statement. He was one of the first animals to inhabit the facility.
“Although he doesn’t get around like he used to, he is enjoying life and the Aquarium appreciates every day he is with us,” according to the statement. “He is the oldest southern sea otter living at any aquarium or zoo, earning him a feature in the Guinness Book of World Records: Wild Things edition released in 2018.”
California’s southern sea otters are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, according to the aquarium.
“Hunting in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries nearly wiped out the entire population, and by 1938 only fifty remained,” the statement said. “Conservation efforts have grown the population to nearly 3,000, but these animals still face threats, including ocean pollution and habitat loss.”
The Aquarium of the Pacific recently said goodbye to 21-year-old southern sea otter, “Brook,” which died in January. Brook was the oldest female southern sea otter living in an aquarium or zoo.
The aquarium has set up a web page for those wishing to buy Charlie a present, such as some shrimp, a birthday treat or a toy.