Now that we’re more than six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the globe continue to look for ways to keep their spirits up.
Studies have proven that looking at videos of cute animals online has a positive impact on mental health. So it’s not entirely surprising that an orphaned otter cub named Joey has become a worldwide celebrity in recent weeks.
Joey was an estimated 10 weeks old when rescuers found him crying all by himself off the coast of Kyuquot in Vancouver, Canada. He was brought to Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Center, a division of the Vancouver Aquarium, for care and treatment. The rescue center is closed to the public indefinitely due to the pandemic, but workers keep their fans up to date on the resident animals with daily videos and YouTube livestreams.
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Perhaps it was his sad back story that first won him fans online, especially combined with his adorable good looks and tiny size. Or maybe people just really need the stress relief of watching a baby otter frolic and thrive under his rescuers’ care more than ever before. Either way, Joey quickly became a viral superstar with fans all over the world!
Joey receives round-the-clock care at the rescue center, and his fans love watching him playing with his toys, swimming in his kiddie pool, getting groomed by his caretakers, and eating the many snacks and treats needed to keep his metabolism firing properly.
Veterinarian technician Sion Cahoon says that Joey is a “demanding” patient, but there’s no doubt his presence at the sanctuary has helped keep them afloat during their shut-down. Anyone who is interested can “symbolically adopt” any of the animals at the MMR to help cover the cost of their care.
Thanks to Joey’s cuteness, the center has received an outpouring of donations via their LiveStream. So far the rescue has gotten donations for Joey from over 30 countries!
“So, it’s been it’s been a really hard time and really sad times around here,” Sion told Fox News. “It’s […] really touching and heartwarming to see a little creature like this bring together so many people from so many different places.”
“And, I’m kind of getting goosebumps just talking about it,” Sion continued, “But… especially during these difficult times where… everybody hops online and can somehow bond and feel close to other people through this crazy little creature who just screams… I just think that’s so awesome and I love it.”
In an increasingly divided world it’s good to know we can all agree on one thing: baby otters give us life! It’s funny to think that rescues like this one are saving more than just animals these days.
You can check out Joey’s LiveStream below, and don’t forget to share.
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