Shedd Aquarium reveals name of sea otter pup

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Exploring new areas of Shedd is an important milestone for the growing pup, who is beginning to sleep through the night and showing more signs of independence. | : ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The Shedd Aquarium’s newest arrival, a rescued female sea otter pup, finally has a name  — Ellie.

The name for the sea otter, who is about 17 weeks old, was derived from Carmel, the beach where she was found alone on Jan. 6 in California, according to a press release from the Shedd Aquarium.

More than 1,500 aquarium members chose between Reya, Cali, Poppy, Gilly and Ellie in voting that took place between March 11 and March 17. The winning name was announced at an exclusive event at the lakefront aquarium Friday morning. During the event, Ellie was also introduced to the public exhibit for the first time. She was previously kept behind the scenes at the Regenstein Sea Otter Nursery.

Pup 719, as she was previously known, arrived Jan. 27 at the Shedd from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. Attempts to find her mother through the pup’s cries were unsuccessful.

“The pup is growing quickly and successfully reaching new milestones everyday including weight gain, more independent grooming behaviors, eating larger portions of solid foods and sleeping through the night,” according to the release. She currently weights about 15 pounds.

In December, one of the Shedd’s sea otters, four-year-old Cayucos, died suddenly. Another orphaned sea otter, Luna, made her public debut at the Shedd in December 2014.