A southern sea otter, a species listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), was rescued in California waters and is now living at the New York Aquarium. The USFWS had determined the sea otter, which was discovered underweight and without his mom, could not survive on its own in the wild.

The new southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), named Ryder, can be seen in Sea Cliffs living with another rescued sea otter, Quint. Ryder was first found in 2021 near Pismo, CA, when he was brought to Monterey Bay Aquarium and then to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA, where he resided with other sea otters and learned sea otter behaviors before coming to the New York Aquarium in May this year.

Southern sea otters also known as California sea otters live on the coast of California. They are a part of the ocean’s web of life, and like all wildlife, have an important role in the ecological health of the environment.

The Southern sea otter and all marine otters in the US are covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Southern sea otter is also listed on the Endangered Species Act and its international trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It is estimated by the USFWS that 3,000 remain in the wild.