Adorable Rescued Otter Is Cuter Than Most Puppies (Photos)

Shedd AquariumShedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

A 5-week-old rescue otter is squirming her way into the hearts of zookeepers at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.

The tiny otter, temporarily named Pup 681, came to Shedd’s staff in dire condition after being found on San Mateo’s Coastways Beach on September 30 and taken to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

According to a press release from the aquarium, Pup 681 is an orphan from the increasingly endangered southern sea population near Monterey, California.

She struggled to gain body mass during her first weeks of life and weighed around two pounds upon her rescue.

Carers believe her mother had been dead for about 16 hours by the time the California Department of Fish and Wildlife rescued her. She was then transported to Chicago.

In collaboration with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Shedd has 24-hour care staff at the Regenstein Sea Otter Nursery.

While she’s not currently in public view, Pup 681’s caretakers snap plenty of photos featuring their fuzzy charge.

Tim Binder, Shedd’s Vice President of Animal Collections, told the press his staff has a full-time job caring for Pup 681.

He said, “It truly takes a village to rehabilitate a young sea otter.”

“Our animal care team is teaching the pup how to be an otter.”

He continued, “While the process is lengthy, our hands-on experience and long history rehabilitating sea otters allows us to use our expertise to work on saving this pup’s life by providing her with a home and the care she needs.”

Shedd Aquarium is using its photogenic rescue to raise awareness for southern sea otters, encouraging those who fall in love with Pup 681 to support ecological conservation efforts.

Pup 681 also offers a chance for animal experts to gain a better understanding of southern sea otters and how to help them thrive.

Watch her learn how to swim

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