This otter is getting settled in a new home, two years after she was rescued in California — and while she has plenty of toys to occupy her time, she's still in need of a name.
The 18-month-old otter known to the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, La., as "Sea Otter 714," recently arrived at the zoo and aquarium after she came from The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC) in California.
Sea Otter 714 was discovered abandoned at just a day old in 2015 by SORAC and was in their protective care. After multiple attempts to release the otter back into the wild, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said she could not survive on her own. SORAC then carefully transferred her to Audubon Nature Institute this week.
Nicola Donnelly, a sea otter trainer at the Audubon Nature Institute, said in a video from the organization: “Sea Otter 714 needed around-the-clock care for the first six weeks."
Dr. Bob MacLean, a senior veterinarian at Audubon, said that the facilities were concerned about transporting her in a crate from California to Louisiana and did not want her to overheat since she would be out of the water. They managed to successfully transport her using ice in the crate.
As soon as she arrived, Sea Otter 714 went for a dip in a massive pool to get acclimated to her new climate.
"She was comfortable and adjusting well,” Donnelly said. “One thing we know about Sea Otter 714 is she loves her toy items."
As the sea otter plays around and gets adjusted to her new home, they are trying to name her and have put it up to a vote from the public.
Since she came from California, otters that come from SORAC are named after John Steinbeck characters and novels.
Audubon Nature Institute has put up a poll for Sea Otter 714 to have a proper name.