The Shedd Aquarium located in Chicago, Illinois has welcomed in their newest little bundle of joy, an orphaned five-week-old otter that was discovered on a California beach on September 30.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Pup 681 was discovered on Coastways Beach in central California when she was believed to be only one week old. A jogger reportedly heard the pup crying and notified the Marine Mammal Center, who then took her in to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for care.
Once the pup was in safe hands, she was given the name Pup 681 and ended up spending a few weeks in intensive care. Karl Meyer, an animal care coordinator for the Sea Otter Program, said that Pup 681 weighed in at 1 kg, which he says is severely underweight for a newborn sea otter.
“This meant it was critical that we begin to get calories into her as quickly as possible.”
Once Pup 681 was considered healthy enough to be moved, the Monterey Bay Aquarium reached out to aquariums nationwide to see if they could find the little orphan pup a new home. It wasn’t very long until the Shedd Aquarium volunteered and, at five weeks old, Pup 681 was moved to her new home.
According to the Huffington Post, the Shedd Aquarium offered Pup 681 a forever home and she arrived on October 28. Since then, a rotating staff of six to eight animal care experts have been keeping a close eye on her and have been tending to her every need while also teaching her all things a baby otter needs to know about being an otter.
The Huffington Post stated that the Shedd Aquarium’s staff is teaching Pup 681 not only to groom herself, but also to forage, feed and regulate her own body temperature.
“It truly takes a village to rehabilitate a young sea otter,” Tim Binder, vice president of animal collections for Shedd, said in a statement. “While the process is lengthy, our hands-on experience and long history rehabilitating sea otters allows us to use our expertise to work on saving this pup’s life by providing her with a home and the care she needs.”
The Chicago Tribune went on to say that Pup 681 is swimming in her own pool and is splashing with long strands of felt normally used in car washes. “The long green pieces are intended to replicate kelp. She also chews on plastic key rings and other toys because she is teething,” her trainers said.
It looks like the Shedd Aquarium is taking good care of the adorable baby sea otter. Here’s to many happy years in your new home, little one!
What do you think of the Shedd Aquarium’s newest resident? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via Twitter]