Names for Seattle's baby sea otter will be up for voting next week

Jan 30, 2012

With an overabundance of cute and a giant fan club already, the baby female sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium will be named possibly on Feb. 27, said Tim Kuniholm, a spokesman for the Seattle Aquarium.

The aquarium will post a range of names on its Website either next Monday or Tuesday and throw open the voting. The baby’s potential names will be a Native Alaskan place name or name from an Alaskan indigenous language, Kuniholm said.

He said the range of names will be limited to the geography and languages of the otter's natural habitat.

To get you all warmed up for voting (in addition to the photos above), here’s a video of Aniak’s pup receiving her first vet exam:

Here’s some otter facts folks at the aquarium thought you'd want to know ,too:

  • Pups start to lose the natal fluff between 6-10 weeks and then begin to dive below the surface and swim to the bottom.
  • At 8 weeks they are usually diving, swimming and hauling out with ease.
  • By about 11 weeks they are pounding objects on their chest, biting open shell food, grooming and rolling over sideways.
  • By 14-20 weeks they can roll forward while grooming.
  • By 20-24 weeks they are grooming themselves just like an adult; at roughly 24 weeks they are weaned.

“We’re delighted to know that the latest otter to be born in our care is a female,” said Traci Belting, curator of mammals and birds. “If the pup were a male, once it grew up it would need to be transferred so as not to cause conflicts with the father otter, Adaa. Now we know she can stay right here with her mother, Aniak, and her grandmother, Lootas.”