These Two Ultra-Cute Sea Otter Pups Found a New Home at Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium has two new sea otter pups! These two little guys, temporarily named Pup 870 and Pup 872, were both (separately) stranded and subsequently rescued in California in May; they were brought to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (naturally) for ottering support where they were deemed non-releasable by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We’ve mentioned Monterey Bay Aquarium’s surrogacy program a lot on the Daily Otter, and these guys were prime candidates but for the fact that the program is at capacity with other pups right now. So, off to Shedd they went!
Shedd Aquarium writes:
The otter pups arrived at Shedd on Monday, July 8 and have been thriving behind the scenes, receiving around the clock care from Shedd's animal care and veterinarian teams. Both otter pups are male and only one week apart in age. Pup 872 is estimated to be 9 weeks old, weighing in at 13.4 pounds. Pup 870 is estimated to be 10 weeks old, weighing in at 17 pounds.
The first of the two pups brought into Monterey Bay Aquarium was Pup 870, which was discovered stranded on May 18 near Stillwater Cove in Carmel Bay. While the pup was clinically healthy, attempts to locate the mother were unsuccessful, and staff did not want to risk leaving the pup vulnerable and alone.
The second pup, Pup 872, was brought in two days later, on May 20. Unlike the first of the pair, this pup was found distressed and vocalizing in high winds and heavy surf at Asilomar State Beach. The pup was shivering, hypothermic and its coat was filled with sand – suggesting it was tossed in the surf. The decision was made to immediately take in the pup for stabilization and no further attempts were made to locate a mother.
"These two pups kept us busy from the moment we arrived," said Tracy Deakins, senior trainer at Shedd Aquarium who accompanied the otter pups on their trip to Chicago. "It was an incredibly rewarding experience to see all that Monterey Bay does for sea otters and to bring these two pups to their new home here at Shedd."
As Pups 870 and 872 familiarize with their new surroundings, they'll also continue to achieve many important milestones, which include eating solid foods such as shrimp and clams and building important otter skills like foraging for food, grooming on their own and socializing with the other otters and with Shedd's animal care team.
"While everyone may not be able to go out and rescue or provide a home for a sea otter in need, we have to remember that the survival of a species like the southern sea otter is a group effort – it takes all of us," said [Peggy Sloan, chief animal operations officer at Shedd Aquarium]. "Southern sea otters would not be around today if it weren't for dedicated individuals who passed critical legislation like the Endangered Species Act, providing the protections necessary for the populations to rebound. Our job is to facilitate a connection between the guests at the aquarium and nature to help the public see that we all have the ability to make a difference."
And check out this footage of 870 and 872 having a rollicking good time (sorry, there’s no sound):
I mean, come on.