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

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Rocky, the sea otter, is making a smooth recovery so far following a first-of-its-kind surgery.

According to a release from the Minnesota Zoo, last June, zookeepers noticed Rocky was not using his back left flipper. After examination and initial improvements, Rocky's symptoms returned and worsened in the fall. It became clear to zoo officials that even with extensive treatment, Rocky would not be able to regain functional use of his flipper. 

After coming to this conclusion, three Minnesota Zoo veterinarians with surgical experience with sea otters performed what is thought to be the first sea otter flipper amputation. 

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After, within an hour of surgery, Rocky was able to wake up. Rocky was back in the water in his behind the scene habitat. After several days in his behind the scenes habitat, Rocky is ready to go back to his public habitat in the Zoo's Russia's Coast Exhibit, where he swims with his sea otter friends Caspers and Jasper.