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Sea otter shot in face now stable

Walter the sea otter should be in high spirits these days.

The rescued critter was found wounded and blind after suffering gunshot wounds to the head, but the Vancouver Aquarium announced Wednesday he is no longer in critical condition.

In a release, the aquarium said Walter is now considered stable after seven weeks of receiving critical care and a number of successful surgeries to fix shattered bones in one of his flippers.

Walter also received oral surgery to treat broken teeth caused by the shotgun blast. Three of the teeth were extracted and the otter needed complex root canal surgery to save one of his canine teeth.

Dr. Martin Haulena, an aquarium veterinarian, said Walter has made “significant progress” in his recovery.

“His flexibility has improved, which means he can now groom himself much better,” he said. “Due to his injuries, however, Walter will likely never regain his sight.”

Because of his injuries, it’s likely the sea otter will have to stay under the care of the Vancouver Aquarium for the rest of his life.

Walter was found on a Tofino beach in mid-October. Someone riddled his body with buckshot, leaving him to die a slow, painful death.

It is believed Walter was intentionally fired on by a shotgun.

There were at least a dozen buckshots scattered around his head, shoulders and hind-quarters

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