It can be tough out there for a sea otter, especially if you're abandoned when you're only a pup.
And such was the case for Sea Otter 714. She was discovered on a beach in Monterey, California, in September 2015. The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC) program took in the little one and, after caring for her for, attempted to release her back into the wild. But after several unsuccessful attempts, she was deemed unfit to survive in the wild by herself.
She needed a new forever home, and now she has one.
Sea Otter 714 was transported in an icy crate — can't let the adorable critter overheat! — from Monterey to the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans on March 8. She immediately began to acclimate to her environment, beginning to groom (which is a good sign for a sea otter). No doubt the presence of her beloved jolly ball, a toy she had with her in Monterey, helped with the transition. The new arrival will soon join Clara, the aquarium's other sea otter, on public display and keepers hope the two will become fast friends.
Now, if you think Sea Otter 714 is a pretty impersonal name, don't worry. Audubon Aquarium is allowing people to vote on a new name for the rescued otter. As per tradition, when an animal is taken in from SORAC, it's named after a character or person connected to John Steinbeck. (The Monterey Bay Aquarium overlooks Cannery Row, the setting of Steinbeck's novel of the same name.) You can visit the aquarium's website and vote for either Ruby, Pearl or Charley. The winning name will be announced on March 16.