Shedd Aquarium Pup 681 Needs a Name

Shedd Aquarium Pup 681 Needs a Name
This sea otter pup, known as Pup 681 needs a name. Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

A miracle of sorts has been unfolding this fall at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium where an orphaned baby sea otter pup has been receiving around the clock care to save her life.

Stranded sea otter pups require extensive care to survive…and this little pup’s situation was urgent.  Pups typically stay with their mothers until they are eight months old but this baby sea otter was orphaned when she was only one-week-old.

Her crying alerted a citizen strolling along a California beach and he called for help. The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California came to the rescue bringing the tiny 2-pound pup to their facility, where she was stabilized before coming to Chicago.

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Day one at the Shedd, the pup gets a bath. Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

When she arrived at the Shedd, four weeks later, on October 28th, she had grown to nearly 6 pounds.  Since that time, a rotating staff of six to eight animal care experts have been providing for her care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

She has been residing in the Regenstein Sea Otter Nursery where she is learning  behaviors including grooming, foraging, and feeding, as well as regulating her own body temperature by getting in and out of the water.

Pup 681 learning to drink formula from a bottle. Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Pup 681 learning to drink formula from a bottle. Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Each day is a new learning experience for the pup from learning to drink from a bottle and eating her favorite solid foods–shrimp and clams–(we should all eat so well) to climbing on towels after she gets wet to help her with grooming and regulating her body temperature.

At nine weeks of age and weighing-in at a healthy 10 pounds, the pup has come a long way reaching many milestones. Now she needs a proper sea otter name.

A nationwide naming contest, announced yesterday on ABC’s Good Morning America, will take care of that.

The Shedd has selected the following names for the public to vote from for their favorite:

  • Cali  – to honor the California otter
  • Ellie  – Año Nuevo State Park is well-known for its elephant seals and Elkhorn Slough is right up the coast from Monterey and home to many sea otters
  • Luna – Derived from nearby Half Moon Bay and the Shedd Members Choice
  • Poppy – for the California State Flower
  • Aña or Anya  – Derived from Año Nuevo State Park

You can vote either on the Shedd or GMA websites as many times as you’d like between now and December 11.

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