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A fluffy otter pup lies on its back with its arms raised above its head.

Sea Otter

The sea otters are the best-groomed animals at Shedd—and in the ocean. It’s a matter of survival. Instead of blubber to keep them warm in the cold Pacific Ocean, these marine mammals have the densest fur of any animal—up to 1 million hairs per square inch.

Sea otter Luna arrived to Shedd as a pup, covered in fluffy baby fur.

Finding a secure home at Shedd

Rescued otters like Luna are strong reminders of the threats sea otters face in the wild. Luna was rescued after the 2-pound pup's high-pitched cries had been heard along a rocky stretch of California coast. Sea otter experts at Monterey Bay Aquarium rehabilitated her until she found a permanent home at Shedd. Our experts have offered rescue and rehabilitation care for sea otters since the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989. In addition to Luna, Shedd's current sea otter group also includes rescues Cooper and Watson.

“One of my favorite memories of working with the sea otters is going outside after a heavy snow and bringing it inside to put all over their habitat. They rolled around in it and ate it for hours!”

Duke Stacey, animal care specialist

Meet the sea otters

Glistening dark bodies roll in the water. Light-furred faces pop to the surface, then dive back in. For someone without a trainer’s eye, Shedd Aquarium’s sea otters look an awful lot alike. And they seldom stay still long enough for you to try to discern differences. To help you figure out who's who, here are each otter’s key characteristics.