This is sea otter pup Rialto, who was found stranded at only a few weeks old on Rialto Beach in Washington state. Barely moving and battered by waves, Rialto was in very poor shape when he was rescued, as Seattle Times writes:
“He had so many strikes against him,” said Lesanna Lahner, staff veterinarian at the Seattle Aquarium. “He was emaciated, he had GI (gastrointestinal) upset. He had pneumonia. That is a lot. And he had no muscle, no fat, he was just skin and bones. It was really touch and go. I gave him a 10 percent chance.”
Seattle Aquarium took in the pup and thanks to their efforts, Rialto's come a very long way, recovering from his pneumonia and eating solid foods. He's even well enough to have his own holding area and pool outside in the fresh air, though Lahner is careful to note he is not totally out of the woods yet.
At any rate, Rialto is certainly healthy enough to begin showing his huge personality:
Already, Rialto has transformed from a struggling waif to He Who Will Not Be Ignored.
...When he turned away from a few proffered shrimp, [caregiver Julie Carpenter] tried putting him back in his kennel. But Rialto, frisky and still wanting to play, would have none of it. Both paws up on the edge of the kennel, he hauled and heaved, trying to get out, keeping up an ear-piercing shriek all the while.
“OK! You don’t want to be in here, do you?” said Carpenter, pulling him onto her lap, and continuing to groom him from his first morning swim with a fresh towel from the constantly replaced, clean, dry, folded stack.
“Shriek!” said Rialto. “Shriek!”
“OK!” said Carpenter, and back in the pool he went. Master of his tiny universe, he steered around the pool with his thick furry tail, thrusting with his flippered back feet to nail the turns. He nuzzled the fresh, cold, filtered seawater from Puget Sound coming into the tank from a pipe, tooled around for a lap or two, and stuck his head under water, blowing bubbles.
Read more about Rialto's rescue and his time so far at Seattle Aquarium at Seattle Times.