SEWARD - The Alaska SeaLife Center says a 6-month-old northern sea otter pup found half-frozen to a dock last March has died in an accident.
Center officials said Skittle died Wednesday morning after he removed part of a concrete and steel drain cover in his habitat and was trapped in a wastewater pipe.
Center president Dr. Ian Dutton says staff members are devastated, adding, "I share their grief in losing one of our most charismatic and popular animals."
He says a formal review is planned. The center says Skittle had been under regular video observation and divers routinely inspected his habitat.
He was due to be transferred to the New York Aquarium in September. The pup was just 10 weeks old when he was found abandoned in Seldovia on the Kenai Peninsula.