Pup 681 doesn’t have the catchiest name, but this baby sea otter is a boatload of cuteness.
The female pup was rescued last month by California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium. But the wee thing couldn’t be raised for return to the wild. Instead, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago stepped in and offered a permanent home for the orphaned pup.
About 40 southern sea otters rescued by Monterey Bay that couldn’t be released to the wild are now housed in zoos and aquariums throughout the United States. Otter 681 gets her name – albeit temporary – as the 681st animal that has been cared for by the organization after washing ashore due to illness, attack or abandonment. The bulk have been returned to the ocean.
But this otter had no surrogate mother to teach her how to be an otter. And so, humans have stepped in to play mama.
The folks at Shedd have posted an adorable collection of Facebook updates and videos of pup 681’s arrival. And, well, OMG.
Watch her become acquainted with her new family. Watch her being groomed, weighed, learning to swim, and of course, being cuddled. Because wouldn’t you, too?
That video has been viewed more than 2.3 million times since it was posted Nov. 4 on YouTube. This one, posted Nov. 6, quickly won over about 80,000 fans.
Photos Brenna Hernandez/Shedd Aquarium