Minnesota Zoo's Rocky the sea otter making strides after landmark surgery

Updated: March 06, 2020 02:34 PM

After nearly two months have passed, the recovery process continues to be a smooth one for Rocky the sea otter at the Minnesota Zoo.

Rocky underwent a four-hour surgery to remove his back left flipper, a procedure that is believed to be first-of-its-kind for a sea otter in human care.


This week, the Minnesota Zoo said its veterinary team performed a post-op follow-up exam on Rocky. The nearly 70-pound sea otter was brought to the zoo's on-site vet hospital for radiographs, bloodwork and an ultrasound to ensure Rocky has been healing properly. Initial results from the exam reaffirm that the surgery was a success.

Otterly adorable: Rocky the sea otter making smooth recovery at Minnesota Zoo after first-of-its-kind procedure

Wednesday's follow-up exam is another positive milestone for Rocky who, according to the zoo, started to show issues with his back flipper last June. The surgery was done on Jan. 9 by three veterinarians at the zoo. A few days later, Rocky was back in the water and swimming, grooming, diving and stealing food from his sea otter companions, Jasper and Capers.

The Minnesota Zoo said Rocky's overall recovery has gone "swimmingly."

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