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Sea otter pup 719

What's New

We Find a New Home for Otter Pup 719

Sea otter pup 719

A sea otter pup we rescued on a stormy winter day is now settled in at her new home at Shedd Aquarium, thanks to a longtime collaboration with our famed Chicago colleague. Ellie, formerly known to us as pup 719—since she’s the 719th otter we’ve taken in since 1984—thrived under round-the-clock care from our sea otter program staff after we rescued her in January.

Ours is the only program in the world that rescues and cares for stranded southern sea otter pups. We raise pups for release back into the wild, and try to place non-releasable pups in long-term homes at accredited U.S. aquariums and zoos.

Prepping a pup for release to the wild is an intensive, long-term project that enlists our adult female exhibit sea otters as surrogate mothers. When pup 719 stranded, all available surrogates were already paired with other rescued pups. Luckily, our friends at Shedd Aquarium had room in their sea otter exhibit.

We prepped pup 719 for her big move to Chicago by acclimating her to face-to-face human care during swimming and grooming sessions, bottle feeding and the transition from formula to solid food.
After two weeks, a Shedd animal trainer arrived to meet the pup and work with our team on her training. Following a week of close collaboration, we said farewell to Ellie. She was accompanied by the trainer and Shedd’s veterinarian on the flight to her new home.
We've been studying the southern sea otter since 1984 with the aim of understanding threats to the population and promoting its recovery in the wild. This critically needed work costs over $1 million each year, and we rely on member and donor support to make it possible—thank you!
Learn more about our work in Conservation & Science section, and follow us on social media to see and hear the latest news about sea otters and other ocean animals in our care and those we study in the wild.

More What's New

White shark and fitbit tag

Listening to Monterey Bay

Listening to Monterey Bay Scientists and engineers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have installed an ultra-sensitive sea floor hydrophone about 3,000 feet below the surface of Monterey Bay. The hydrophone can pick up sounds too low or too high for humans to hear from the deep rumbles of blue whales to the high pitched squeaks and clicks of common dolphins.

"We're trying to characterize the soundscape of Monterey Bay," says John Ryan, the biological oceanographer in charge of the hydrophone project. "This includes biological sounds, such as vocalizations of marine mammals, the sounds of physical processes such as wind and rain, and the sounds of human activities."

MBARI researchers are still trying to figure out how to analyze this barrage of sounds, which are being continuously recorded. One approach is to turn the sound into a moving picture—a "spectrogram" that shows how sounds change over time. Acoustics experts can "read" these spectrograms to identify the sounds of specific marine mammals.
Researchers were excited to see frequent calls by Baird's and Cuvier's beaked whales. They spend most of their time diving in deep water and are almost never seen at the surface, so very little is known about them.
According to John, "We're still in the process of demonstrating what's possible with this new instrument. So far we've only had time to look at a few snippets of sound. And yet, each one has had something wonderful in it."

Learn more about our shark research in our Future of the Ocean blog.

The 2015 Paul Walker Award recipients Anjali World and Katie Ridgeway at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

“Party” with Cooking for Solutions!

Saturday, October 1

Ages 21 and up
7–11:30 p.m.
$100 Aquarium members/$125 general public

  • Savor ocean-friendly food and drink by more than 50 restaurants, wineries and breweries (7–9 p.m.)
  • Explore the Aquarium's award-winning exhibits
  • Dance the night away in the Marine Mammal Gallery
  • Cash bar (9–11:30 p.m.)

Cooking for Solutions fans—the wait is over! The Party returns Saturday, October 1 with extended hours so you can dance the night away in the Marine Mammal Gallery. You can savor ocean friendly food and drink by more than 50 restaurants, wineries and breweries. We're also planning cooking demos, fun photo ops around the Aquarium and more.

Tickets will go on sale June 20! Keep checking our event website for details, or call our Sales & Reservation Center at (831) 647-6886.

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