'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.
The Oregon Zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.