This is what it takes to teach a baby otter to be an otter

Matthew Champion@matthewchampion
Thursday 06 November 2014 12:00
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Meet Pup 681, the as-yet not properly named orphaned southern sea otter pup.

She is receiving round-the-clock care from a team of six to eight animal experts after arriving at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium from California, where she was found on a beach at around one-week-old in September, this week.

She is also insufferably cute.

Southern sea otter pups normally stay with their mothers for eight months, so the team are teaching Pup 681 to groom, forage, feed and regulate her body temperature by getting in and out of the water.

"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."

Pup 681, weighing 6lbs and 22.6in long, is said to be "doing well" but it will be many months until the team know whether she can be reintroduced into the wild.

Southern sea otters are designated as 'threatened' on the IUCN red list, with around 3,000 left in the wild.

(Pictures: Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez)

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