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It’s official: Latest Shedd otter pups have names

“Cooper” and “Watson” were selected after an online vote.

Two rescued southern sea otter pups get acclimated to their new home at the Shedd Aquarium Thursday.
After an online vote, Shedd Aquarium’s 5-month-old rescued sea otter pups now have proper names.
Sun-Times file photo

Goodbye “Pup 870” and “Pup 872.” Hello Cooper and Watson.

After an online vote, Shedd Aquarium’s 5-month-old rescued sea otter pups now have proper names, the aquarium 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,” Lana Gonzalez, manager of penguins and otters at Shedd, said 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.”

About 20,000 people took part in the vote, selecting Cooper and Watson from a “short list” of names connected to the places where the orphaned otters were found in early July, Shedd officials said. Cooper was found near Cupertino, and Watson was found near Watsonville, both California coastal towns.

The pups, both males, were only 2 weeks old when they were found, apparently abandoned, Shedd officials said.

For now, they’re mostly living behind the scenes in the Regenstein Pup Nursery, while staff at Shedd teach them “how to be otters — building important skills like foraging, diving and grooming their dense fur,” according to the aquarium staff.

The pups are being gradually introduced into the public habitat area.

Two orphaned sea otters at Shedd Aquarium
About 20,000 people took part in the vote to name the two orphanes Southern sea otter pups.
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez