Who can resist a svelte brunette when she's got such a winning smile and whiskers? We dare you.
When we read the tweet about the newest marine mammal at the Aquarium of the Pacific, we immediately wanted to see photos. And they did not dissapoint. That toothy grin, that lush fur coat! Aquarium officials said this week that the baby otter was rescued on Valentine's Day -- a tragic love story with a happier ending -- from a Northern California beach, and arrived to her permanent home two weeks ago today. The Aquarium offered the following back story on her arrival:
"The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific has welcomed a new marine mammal. The female sea otter was rescued off Del Monte Beach in Northern California on Valentine’s Day. Because she had lost her mother and did not have a chance to learn survival skills, government wildlife officials determined she was unable to take care of herself in the wild. The tiny otter was transferred to SORAC (Sea Otter Research and Conservation center) in Northern California for temporary care until a permanent home was found. The Aquarium of the Pacific offered to help, and the baby otter made her way to Southern California.
"The tiny otter arrived at the Aquarium on Friday, March 16, 2012. Aquarium staff members have been working around the clock to care for and feed her. “The baby otter has been gaining weight and is doing well. It is wonderful to be able to provide her with a home,” said Debbie Quihuis, Aquarium of the Pacific senior mammalogist. The otter is estimated to be nine to ten weeks old. She will remain behind the scenes until she is large enough to join the Aquarium’s other rescued otters on exhibit, which is expected to take several months. In the meantime, visitors can view the other rescued otters in their exhibit, which features conservation education games and presentations.
"“We hope people are encouraged to learn more about sea otters. These animals play a key role in their ecosystems, and it is vital that we do our part to help protect them and their environment,” said Dudley Wigdahl, Aquarium of the Pacific curator of marine mammals.
Click here for more details at the Aquarium of the Pacific's website.