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Aquarium's "big brother" otter dies

Posted: Tuesday, Mar 12th, 2013

Aialik, a longtime resident of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, died March 6 at age 14. Aialik was the first marine mammal to receive bladder marsupialization surgery to treat a urinary tract illness. (Courtesy photo)
The staff of the Oregon Coast Aquarium announce the death of Aialik, a northern sea otter who was “big brother” to the aquarium’s sea otter family.

Aialik was humanely euthanized Wednesday morning, March 6, at the aquarium’s veterinary care center because of a failing urinary tract that affected him for much of his 14 year life. In fact, Aialik was the subject of a pioneering surgery to treat the issue. This was the first time anyone had attempted a bladder marsupialization in a marine mammal, in which an artificial opening allowed the bladder to function and drain. This successfully extended Aialik’s life for several years.

For the complete article see the 03-13-2013 issue.

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