Rescued sea otter pup is safe, sound and adorable
The female pup, currently going by the name "Pup 681," is now at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago after having spent four weeks recuperating at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.
Pup 681 was first discovered when a person strolling California's Coastways Beach heard her cries. The next day, the week-old, orphaned pup was transported to the Monterey Bay Aquarium by members of the Sea Otter Program and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, where they discovered that she weighed only about two pounds.
“Pup 681's situation was urgent,” Tim Binder, vice president of Animal Collections for Shedd, said in a press release. “This rescued animal provides an opportunity for us to learn more about the biological and behavioral attributes of this threatened species and to encourage people to preserve and protect them in the wild.”
Now, the 5-week-old pup weighs slightly less than six pounds and receives constant care from the veterinary staff.
Part of the otter's care includes 24-hour attention, with anywhere from six to eight experts catering to her needs. While she learns how to groom, forage, feed and regulate her own body temperature — which she practices by climbing onto towels after she gets wet — the aquarium is keeping her behind the scenes in the Regenstein Sea Otter Nursery.
“It truly takes a village to rehabilitate a young sea otter," Binder said. "Our animal care team is teaching the pup how to be an otter."