Sea otter

Tania Larson / U.S. Geological Survey

Humans are particularly generous with the flu, otter-wrangling scientists have found.

People shared the 2009 swine flu epidemic with ferrets, dogs, cats, raccoons and pigs, and new research shows even wild sea otters in Washington state got hit. 

"These otters, which we think were living in a relatively pristine environment off the Olympic Peninsula, were exposed to pathogens that are more commonly associated with people," said Virologist Hon Ip with the U.S. Geological Survey, who co-authored the study published in the May 2014 issue of “Emerging Infectious Diseases.”

The Oregon Zoo

Nothing but net? No problem for one sporty sea otter at the Oregon Zoo.

Eddie the otter has been trained to dunk a basketball through a small plastic hoop. It's an exercise a veterinarian recommended for his arthritic elbows.

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium has started its sea otter naming contest.

Jump over to the site linked above and vote on one of these names: Willapa, Shi Shi, Elwha, Sequim, Seiku.

With an overabundance of cute and a giant fan club already, the baby female sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium will be named possibly on Feb. 27, said Tim Kuniholm, a spokesman for the Seattle Aquarium.

The aquarium will post a range of names on its Website either next Monday or Tuesday and throw open the voting. The baby’s potential names will be a Native Alaskan place name or name from an Alaskan indigenous language, Kuniholm said.

Seattle Aquarium

Press release:

The Seattle Aquarium announced today the birth of a new sea otter pup at its facility on Pier 59 in Seattle. The young otter was born today just before 5:00 a.m. to the mother otter Aniak – who herself was born at Seattle Aquarium in 2002.