The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Photos And Video: Shedd Aquarium Gives Sea Otter Pup A Second Chance

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 5, 2014 3:00PM

Let’s start our morning weighing in on the serious matters of the day, like cute animals. Meet the latest arrival from Shedd Aquarium, a five-week-old orphaned southern sea otter pup. The female pup came to the Shedd from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a leading authority for the rescue and conservation of the endangered species.

The pup was discovered Sept. 30 on Coastways Beach in California between the San Mateo and Santa Cruz county line. A person on an evening walk heard the otter’s cry and notified The Marine Mammal Center, who contacted Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program. Scientists from the program could not retrieve the pup because of her remote location and impending darkness but were able to rescue her the following day. She had been separated from her mother for at least 16 hours and weighed one kilogram when she was rescued. “This meant it was critical that we begin to get calories into her as quickly as possible,” said Karl Mayer, Animal Care Coordinator for the Sea Otter Program.

The pup now weighs six pounds and measures 22.6 inches long. Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program works with wildlife rescue agencies and other aquariums like Shedd to help preserve the species and rescue, treat and release injured adult and infant sea otters. Over 700 sea otters have come through the program since 1984. This pup, dubbed “Pup 681” for the time being, has received round-the-clock care since arriving at Shedd Aquarium last week.