Votes Are In: Rescued Sea Otter Pups Receive Official Names, To Make Public Debut At Shedd Aquarium

WBBM Newsradio Staff
September 30, 2019 - 9:10 am
The Shedd Aquarium announced Monday that after a week and a half of voting, the two rescued sea otter pup have official names. 

©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Categories: 

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The votes are in! The rescued sea otter pups at the Shedd Aquarium now have names - Cooper and Watson.

The Shedd Aquarium announced Monday that after a week and a half of voting, the two rescued sea otter pup have official names. 

Earlier this month, the Shedd Aquarium hosted a digital naming contest. Animal care staff prepared a short list of names for the public to choose from, and all the names correspond to a location along the coast of California where sea otters can be found. The names on the list included: 

  • Cooper: named after Cupertino, Calif., near San Jose
  • Watson:  named after the town of Watsonville, near Monterey and Port Watsonville, less than an hour drive from where pup 872 was found
  • Bennett: named after Point Bennett on San Miguel Island – one of the Channel Islands
  • Simon: named after Simonton Cove on San Miguel Island – one of the Channel Islands
  • Obi: short for Obispo of San Luis Obispo

The Shedd Aquarium announced Monday that after a week and a half of voting, the two rescued sea otter pup have official names. 
©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

The public was able to vote as many times as they’d like on the aquarium's website and was open from Sept. 19-28. 

According to the Shedd, nearly 20,000 votes from across the country helped decide names for the sea otter pups; and on Monday, the aquarium announced the two winning names: Cooper and Watson. 

The five-month-old pups, both males, were discovered on the coast of California with no mother or adult otters in sight at just a couple weeks old and rescued by partners at Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Cooper (formerly Pup 870) and Watson (formerly Pup 872) were previously referred to by their intake numbers were cared for at Monterey Bay Aquarium, before Shedd Aquarium’s Animal Response Team flew out to California to assist in their care and accompany them home to Chicago, the Shedd said in a statement.

After a week and half of voting, two rescued sea otter pups at Shedd Aquarium have official names.
©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Since their arrival at Shedd, the sea otter pups have been living behind the scenes in the Regenstein Pup Nursery as animal care staff teach them how to be otters – building important skills like foraging, diving and grooming their dense fur. Now over the next few weeks, the animal care team will be gradually introducing them to the public habitat, meaning guests may soon have their first opportunity to see the pups with their own eyes, the Shedd announced Monday!

“We are delighted by all the excitement that this naming vote generated and even happier to have decided on two wonderful names for our rescued pups,” said Lana Gonzalez, manager of penguins and otters at Shedd Aquarium, in a statement. “We look forward to telling the stories of these two pups with guests and inspiring the public to take action of species like sea otters to keep them around well into the future.”