After four months of around-the-clock care, the orphaned sea otter pup adopted by the Shedd Aquarium in January will go on public display this week.
Cayucos was found in California in early December, where she was rescued and stabilized by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Otter Research and Conservation program, a sister institution of the Shedd, according to a news release from the aquarium. As one of few facilities with the housing space and resources needed to care for a pup, the Shedd Aquarium was chosen as Cayucos' permanent home.
"Shedd Aquarium is one of the country’s top marine mammal conservation and education organizations, so it was only natural that we do whatever it takes to make sure that a pup of a threatened otter population survives," Jim Robinett, Senior Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs at Shedd, said in a statement. "Shedd's animal care expertise and world-class facility enabled us to offer her a home and the highest quality care that she needs when all options seemed lost."
Now seven months old, Cayucos has gained 11 pounds and a host of new life skills from her handlers and Alaskan relatives in the Regenstein Sea Otter Nursery, including how to groom, forage, feed and regulate her own body temperature.
Now she'll join the aquarium's adult otter population in the Abbott Oceanarium, where nearly all of the sea otters were also brought to the Shedd as rescued pups.
Check out photos of Cayucos from the last four months, including her recent introduction to her new otter pals, then see her in person at the Shedd Aquarium: