Ever wonder what it’s like to spend playtime with a sea otter pup? Find out from the experts. Join a Google Hangout on Air on Tuesday, November 18, at 10 a.m. PST. This live chat includes staff from the Monterey Bay and Shedd Aquariums, who cooperated in finding a home for the fluffiness you see here. 

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Your daily dose of cute: A five-week old southern sea otter pup. This orphaned pup was rescued by Monterey Bay Aquarium and now calls Shedd Aquarium in Chicago home. Listed as a threatened species, southern sea otters live in the nearshore waters along the mainland coastline of California and are among the smallest of marine mammals. Check out the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office to learn more about ongoing conservation efforts to ensure these beautiful creatures remain a part of our marine environment.

Photo courtesy of Brenna Hernandez, Shedd Aquarium.


A pup rescued by the Aquarium has found a happy home at Shedd Aquarium!

According to ABC News, “The word ‘adorable’ doesn’t do this rescued baby sea otter pup justice.” Learn more and watch the ABC video.

Weighing just under six pounds and at 22.6 inches long, the female pup arrived at Shedd last Tuesday from Monterey, where she spent the first four weeks of her life being stabilized. The pup has been doing well since her arrival, receiving continual care behind the scenes of Shedd’s Abbott Oceanarium. She is the second pup from the threatened southern sea otter population to reside at Shedd. She’s currently referred to as “Pup 681.” Shedd’s animal care and veterinarian teams are providing the continual, round-the-clock care she needs to thrive.

“Pup 681’s situation was urgent. As an organization dedicated to marine mammal care and conservation, we were perfectly positioned to ensure that this little pup had a home, providing the long-term care needed to survive,” said Tim Binder, Vice President of Animal Collections for Shedd. “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.”

Estimated to be only one week old and weighing in at just over two  pounds, the female pup was found on September 30 on Coastways Beach in California between the San Mateo and Santa Cruz county line. A citizen on an evening walk heard the newborn otter’s cry and quickly notified The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC). TMMC staff contacted Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program and scientists determined the pup could not be retrieved that evening due to the remote location and impending darkness. On the morning of Oct. 1, the pup was still in the same location and determined to have been orphaned. Scientists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Sea Otter Program responded immediately to recover the pup and transport her to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. 

“On arrival in Monterey, 681 weighed 1.0 kg, which is tiny for a newborn sea otter, and she had been separated from mom for at least 16 hours. This meant it was critical that we begin to get calories into her as quickly as possible,” said Karl Mayer, Animal Care Coordinator for the Sea Otter Program.

(Photos Shedd Aquarium)