There's cute. And then there's itty-bitty baby sea otter cute.
A newborn baby sea otter became a resident of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre after some people found the little pup swimming by itself in open water off northern Vancouver Island in late June. Estimated to be only a few weeks old at the time, the sea otter seemed healthy, but still required round-the-clock care, just like he would have gotten from his mother.
Staff and volunteers took turns feeding, bathing and grooming the fluffy pup.
Now, about a month after his rescue, he's estimated to be between 6-8 weeks old, weighing almost 9 pounds. He still needs 24-hour care, but is getting a little more independent.
The center recently posted an update:
"He is still nursing from the bottle, eating 25 percent of his body weight per day in a special otter pup formula made by our animal care team. Just this week in addition to the bottle he started eating solid food; 5 grams of clams per feed. He loves his clams!"
The pup is now very energetic and curious. He's grooming himself and has become a great little swimmer. He loves diving to the bottom of his swim tub to retrieve his toys. One of his favorites is a colorful toy hair dryer.
The center recently held a contest to choose a name for the popular, fuzzy resident. He was named Hardy for the port where he was first taken for treatment after he was rescued.