Sea Otter

Help Name Shedd’s Sea Otter ‘Pup 681’


Shedd Aquarium’s rescued Southern Sea Otter pup, which came to the aquarium as part of a collaborative partnership with Monterey Bay Aquarium, is currently known as ‘Pup 681’. She has been swimming past significant milestones over the last few weeks and is growing quickly. Already double in size and weighing in at a little over 10 pounds, Pup 681 is now ready for a name! 



5C9A2204Photo Credits: Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez ; Video Credits: Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin

Shedd is partnering up with ABC’s morning television show, “Good Morning America”, to name the female Sea Otter pup, through the “Name the Sea Otter Pup” voting contest.

“The entire organization celebrates Pup 681 as a meaningful way to educate our guests and have a better understanding of sea otters, which is critical to conserve and protect this species,” said Tim Binder, Vice President of Animal Collections for Shedd. “Over the past few weeks, she has won the hearts of many in Chicago and across the nation.  We’re excited to team up with a national organization, to connect millions of people with this species inspiring conservation for wildlife and the environment through the engaging process of selecting a name for our Sea Otter with everyone.”

“Good Morning America” invites viewers to get involved with the contest by casting their votes online, via a poll, found on the right side of their page, at on Yahoo. Participants can submit votes as often as they like until Thursday, Dec.11 at 3 p.m. EST. The final name will be revealed on Friday, Dec. 12.

The public will choose from five names, selected by Shedd’s marine mammal staff. Shedd has a history of naming animals that are rescued affiliated with the locations of which they were found. Names include: 

  • Cali  - To honor the California otter
  • Ellie  - Año Nuevo State Park is well known for its elephant seals, also Elkhorn Slough - an area that is right up the coast from Monterey that is home to many Sea Otters
  • Luna  - Derived from nearby Half Moon Bay
  • Poppy  - California State Flower
  • Aña or Anya  - Derived from Año Nuevo State Park

Continue reading "Help Name Shedd’s Sea Otter ‘Pup 681’" »

Shedd, Monterey Bay Aquariums to Host Live Online Event with Sea Otter Pup 681


On Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 12 p.m. CT, Shedd Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium will host a Google Hangout On Air session with the public to share the latest progress and information on rescued Sea Otter Pup 681.



5C9A0810Photo Credits: Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez ; Video Credits: Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin

Moderated by legendary journalist and aquarium supporter, Bill Kurtis, the live, online event will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the growing Sea Otter pup and first-hand accounts from Shedd and Monterey Bay experts involved in her rescue and continual, round-the-clock care.

Registration for the Google Hangout On Air session can be found at the following: 

Poolside with Sea Otter Pup 681


Follow the conversation at #puphangout


More info and amazing pics, below the fold!

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Shedd Aquarium Staff Foster Sea Otter Pup

Shedd_Sea Otter Pup_13

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium recently announced that it had welcomed a five-week old orphaned Southern Sea Otter pup from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

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Shedd_Sea Otter Pup_4Photo Credits: Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez

The female pup arrived at Shedd on October 28th from Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, 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, and she currently weighs in at just under 6 pounds and 22.6 inches long. She is the second pup from the threatened Southern Sea Otter population to reside at Shedd. 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.

The small, vulnerable pup was found on September 30th on Coastways Beach in California, and, at that time, was estimated to be only one week old and weighing around 2 pounds. 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 Otters Program, and scientists determined the pup could not be safely retrieved that evening due to the remote location and impending darkness. The following morning, the pup was still in the same location and determined to have been orphaned, and it was estimated she had been separated from her mother for at least 16 hours. 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 Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program has been studying and helping recover the threatened Southern Sea Otter since 1984. The program works with other aquariums, such as Shedd, and wildlife rescue facilities to respond to every sea otter that comes ashore in distress along the California coast. Over the past 25 years, nearly 700 sea otters have come through this program.

Stranded Sea Otter pups require extensive round-the-clock care and there are only a handful of facilities in the United States with the available space, staff and experience to provide the appropriate care. Shedd officials and animal care staff quickly accepted Monterey Bay Aquarium’s call to provide the stranded pup with a permanent home.

To ensure the pup receives everything that she needs, a rotating schedule of six to eight animal care experts provides care and attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During this intensive nurturing period, she will remain behind the scenes in the Regenstein Sea Otter Nursery as she develops certain behaviors, such as grooming, foraging, and feeding, as well as regulating her own body temperature by getting in and out of the water.

As she acclimates to her new surroundings, Pup 681 reaches new milestones every day, including taking formula from a bottle, eating solid foods such as shrimp and clams and even climbing upon white towels when she gets wet to help her groom and regulate her body temperature.

More info and amazing pics, below the fold!

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Orphan Otter Finds New Home in Pittsburgh


Back in March we brought you the story of a young Sea Otter rescued by the residents of Port Heiden, Alaska. Discovered alone on the beach next to his deceased mother, the pup was cared for overnight by concerned citizens, then flown to the Alaska SeaLife Center. One month and one FedEx plane ride later, the pup begins a new life at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium and will go on exhibit next Friday, April 27th. FedEx specializes in transporting animals between zoological institutions safely and comfortably. 


20120418_Meshik-0334Above photo credits: Alaska SeaLife Center

The next milestone for the little pup will be to acclimate to his new environment in Pittsburgh, begin eating solid food, respond to keeper’s cues which will teach him cooperative and husbandry behaviors. These behaviors will allow him to participate in his own care such as voluntary weigh-ins, and presentation of paws and flippers. He will develop his natural instincts as he grows and when he is bigger will be slowly introduced to Alki and Chugach, the Zoo’s current sea otter residents.

Otter Pup at Pittsburgh ZooSea Otter pup arriving in Pittsburgh. Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Checking in with Ollie the Orphan Sea Otter

Ollie_Sleeping_with_towel_600pxlPhoto credits: Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium visitors have the chance to take a sneak peek at the newest furry baby animal at the Aquarium of the Pacific through daily behind-the-scenes tours as of Friday, Dec. 10. The three-month old orphaned Sea Otter was stranded and rescued off of Santa Cruz when she was just weeks old.



Continue reading "Checking in with Ollie the Orphan Sea Otter" »

Tazo Loves Chewing on His Toys

The WCS's New York Aquarium has just released a new video of everybody's favorite feisty pup - Tazo the orphan Sea Otter! Rescued and rehabilitated by the Alaska SeaLife Center back in August, Tazo continues to exhibit the talkative, troublemaking spirit evident in previous videos. While the pup is not yet on exhibit, he will most likely make a public debut later this year.

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Baby sea otter tazo ny aquarium 2Second photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS NY Aquarium

Little Miss 502

Little Sea Otter pup #502 arrived at the Monterey Bay Aquarium after being discovered weak, sick and alone on a California beach. After four weeks of antibiotics delivered via frozen clams and a behind the scenes introduction to a surrogate mother named Joy, #502 went on exhibit to the public last week. She got her temporary numerical name because she was the 502nd Sea Otter rescued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's SORAC program since its founding in 1984. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing nature of #502's medical treatment, she cannot be released back into the wild because she won't have the necessary wild-otter skills. Eventually she may be introduced to another orphan turned education animal, the not-to-be-missed Kit, who we met earlier in the summer.

Baby sea otter 502 at moneterey bay aquariumPhoto credits: © Monterey Bay Aquarium / Randy Wilder

Read the whole story below the fold.

Continue reading "Little Miss 502" »

Double Dose of Baby Sea Otter

Just last week we brought you the story of Kaladi, the little orphan Sea Otter at Alaska SeaLife Center. Well this week we bring you another dose of truly unbearably cute baby otter, once again a rescued orphan being raised at the the SeaLife Center. 

Meet Tazo. Only a few weeks old, he enjoys socializing with other otters, playing in a tote bag full of ice and toys, and eating clams. Not a bad day if you're an otter. Speaking of which, do not miss Tazo's fussy noises in the video at the bottom. Adorable.

Baby sea otter tazo alaska sealife center 2

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Meet Kaladi the Orphan Sea Otter

In late May, two concerned citizens discovered a three day old Sea Otter alone on the beach in Kodiak, Alaska. After obvserving her for several hours and seeing no sign of a parent, they contacted the US Fish and Wildlife Service, who in turn determined that they baby was an orphan and transferred the tiny ball of fluff to the Alaska SeaLife Center's rehabilitation program. Named Kaladi, the young otter has thrived, spending her first month eating, playing, crawling, and cuddling and on June 25th, she was transferred to her new home at Point Defiance Zoo in Washington. In our professional opinion as baby-animaloligsts, the video below is absolutely priceless.

Baby sea otter alaska sealife center 2

Baby sea otter alaska sealife center

Photos and video courtesy of the Alaska SeaLife Center

Meet "Furball" the Orphan Otter

Found alone on the Central Coast of California, a whimpering little otter pup was rescued and taken to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Too young to fend for herself but too old to be placed in the surrogate otter mom program that would have provided her with the necessary life skills to be returned to the wild, "Furball" (eventually renamed Maggie) was adopted by the Aquarium. More specifically, she was adopted by marine mammal trainer "Hugh" who has spent the last few months as her surrogate dad, including many nights sleeping next to the young otter. Watch the adorable video below and learn more about Hugh's adventures with Furball on the Aquarium's blog.

Maggie the otter furball baby aquarium of the pacific