Oily otter has Facebook following

March 5, 2009 8:26:26 PM PST
Facebook members can now become a fan of Olive, a young, recovering sea otter that was found almost halfway covered in oil in Monterey Bay last weekend and will be released back into the wild within a few weeks.

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The state Department of Fish and Game set up the Facebook page for Olive with videos and pictures of her recovery and progress.

The year-old otter was likely the victim of a natural oil seep off the Monterey Coast. When she was found, oil was covering about 40 percent of her 25-pound body.

The department's mammal care facility in Santa Cruz is caring for her after she was rescued from Sunset State Beach in Santa Cruz on Feb. 1.

Veterinarians bathed her in olive oil, which is where she got her name, and used other rehabilitation resources such as a temperature sensitive chip that monitors her condition during every stage of the recovery process.

They also planned to surgically implant a tracking chip so they can make sure she accommodates to the wild again, department spokeswoman Carol Singleton said.

The Facebook page was updated Wednesday with the fact that Olive got a wet spot almost entirely out of her coat and has been showing signs of aggression, which is "a good thing as we don't want her tame," according to the page.

The department believes more wildlife might be impacted by oil that churned up in recent winter storms. The public is asked to report sightings of oiled wildlife to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network Response Hotline at (877) UCD-OWCN, which is (877) 823-6926.

Olive had 35 fans as of today, and anyone who wants to join them or check on her progress can visit

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