12/04/2013 04:58 EST | Updated 02/03/2014 05:59 EST

Shot Sea Otter Recovering At Vancouver Aquarium

VANCOUVER - A sea otter rescued by the Vancouver Aquarium after being shot in the head and body has now improved to stable condition.

Veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena says the animal, named Walter, had been in critical condition since it was found near Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in October.

Haulena says Walter has undergone extensive medical procedures, including surgeries on one of its flippers and in its mouth, where its teeth were broken by the shotgun blast.

The sea otter was found blinded and riddled with dozens of bird-shot pellets.

Haulena says the animal was in such a rough shape that it needed around-the-clock care.

Haulena says Walter can now groom itself and should be feeling more comfortable, but it's unlikely the animal will ever regain its sight.

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