MONTEREY (CBS SF) — An orphaned southern sea otter pup that was rescued by Monterey Bay Aquarium staff from Carmel Beach early last month has found a new home at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, according to officials.

The sea otter pup was found abandoned on Jan. 6 on the beach in Carmel, according to a press release issued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Animal control officials notified the aquarium’s Sea Otter Program staff, who came to the scene and were unable to locate the mother through the pup’s cries. The young otter was brought to the aquarium’s veterinary intensive care unit and given a thorough exam.

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Sea Otter Program staff estimated the pup to be four weeks old based on development of her teeth, size and behavior. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium website, the pup’s stranding is an example of how the changing environment is impacting animal habitats on the west coast. Unusually high ocean temperatures associated with El Niño caused heavy storms in January, which may have been a factor in separating Pup 719 from her mother.

Christened “Pup 719” (in reference to the number of rescued pups taken into the sea otter program) the animal was cared for at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for several weeks prior to being transported to Chicago where she arrived on January 27.

Receiving dedicated around-the-clock care at the Shedd’s Regenstein Sea Otter Nursery, the pup graduated to eating solid foods and has grown to a healthy 11 pounds at her current age of 10 weeks. She is the third pup from the endangered southern sea otter population to find a new home at the Shedd, according to the aquarium website.

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The Shedd Aquarium site has a special web page dedicated to following the progress of the new addition.




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