Abandoned sea otter pup melts everyone's hearts

sea otter pup 681
© Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Say hello to the Shedd Aquarium's newest member: a six-pound sea otter pup.

The otter was found alone near San Francisco and was rescued when a jogger heard her cries. Usually, baby otters will stay with their mother for their first six months, but this little one was found when she was about 5-7 days old. She seemed under-weight (about 2 pounds) when she was found, which suggests her mom hadn't been around for at least half a day. After more than four weeks of constant attention, she has plumped up quite nicely.

Without parents, the pup, temporarily named Pup 681, needs to be shown how to take care of herself, find food and groom.

“It truly takes a village to rehabilitate a young sea otter. Our animal care team is teaching the pup how to be an otter,” aquarium vice president, Tim Binder said in a press release.

The pup comes from a rare otter species, the Southern Sea Otter. These otters were placed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act after pollution caused dramatic population declines. Since then, over-fishing, oil spills and diseases have prevented the species from recovering. Pup 681 is lucky to be alive.

There are lots of super cute videos from the Shedd Aquarium's site. Here’s one of them:

Abandoned sea otter pup melts everyone's hearts
This little ball of fur is just so cute!