Meet Luna! As of today, this otterly adorable orphaned sea otter pup officially has a name, thanks to a vote put on by Good Morning America. “Luna” is derived from California’s Half Moon Bay, near the beach where she was rescued. I myself voted for “Luna” because I have a cat named Luna too! I was so excited when the name won the vote!
The fuzzy female otter was taken in by Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium in late October and has been known as “Pup 681” since she was the 681st animal to come through the sea otter program in Monterey, California.
“Good Morning America” and Shedd Aquarium teamed up and asked you to vote to give the lovely little lady a name among five choices, each affiliated with the location where Luna, then just one week old, was found. Over 10,000 votes were cast and in the end, Luna prevailed, beating out Cali, which honored the California otter, Ellie, derived from Año Nuevo State Park which is well-known for its elephant seals,Poppy, for the California State Flower, and Aña, also from Año Nuevo State Par.
A team of trainers and marine staff at Shedd have been devoted to providing 24-7 care to Luna since her arrival in late October. She was one of the tiniest otters ever rescued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s team and has come incredibly far. Now almost twelve weeks old, the pup is up to 14 pounds from just 2.
Luna receives eight feeding sessions daily and four types of seafood have been added to her diet. She still is fed from a bottle and is learning essential behavior for her survival like foraging for food and grooming on her own. Her days consist of swimming and diving lessons, feeding, and napping (not so different from any other baby!)
Luna has already mastered swimming on her tummy and back, according to the aquarium, and her diving skills are improving day by day. She can now use her flipper to play and propel her around the special 1,249-gallon private nursery pool she calls home.
Luna will make her debut today to select members at the aquarium and once she hits all of her developmental milestones, she will officially make her public debut in spring 2015.