'Prince of Sea Pups' is known for his lively squeaks and playful personality
Happy squeaks could be heard throughout Steller Cove this week as rescued sea otter Lincoln celebrated his first birthday in style — with a special frozen shrimp cake and a swim in his favorite pool. A first birthday is always a milestone, but it's especially significant for this orphaned otter, also known to his many fans as the "Prince of Sea Pups."
"Lincoln was found as an orphaned pup, so his birthday is a bit of an educated guess," said marine life keeper Amy Hash. "But that makes it all the more special, because he almost didn't make it."
In late October of 2017, the pup soon to be known as Lincoln was found stranded in Morro Bay Harbor; rescuers from Monterey Bay Aquarium's rescue and care program estimated he was less than 2 weeks old at the time. Unable to be paired with a surrogate mom, he was eventually deemed non-releasable by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In December, he moved to his home at the Oregon Zoo.
Since his arrival, Lincoln has bonded with his fellow sea otters Juno and Eddie, as well as his devoted care staff. He's also made quite the splash on social media, helping fans around the world learn how to help sea otters in the wild.
"He brings a lot of fun and energy to the sea otter family," said Hash. "He loves to play, and he greets us every morning with his signature Lincoln squeaks."
Hash and her fellow keepers made Lincoln's birthday cake using his favorite food, frozen shrimp. Decorated with ice letters made with red and blue food coloring, it came complete with two smaller heart-shaped ice cakes for sharing. Like many 1-year-olds, Lincoln had some help finishing his cake. The 4-year-old Juno dragged it into the water, and the two celebrated together with a shellfish feast fit for a prince.