DOWNTOWN — Two baby sea otters at the Shedd are in need of names, and the aquarium is asking Chicagoans to help.
The otters are 5-month-old boys and are currently known as Pup 870 and Pup 872. They’ve been living behind the scenes at the Shedd Aquarium, but they’ll soon make their big debut and need names.
The Shedd has created an online poll where anyone can vote on the name options: Obi, Watson, Cooper, Simon and Bennett. The two winning names will be bestowed on the pups.
Watson and Cooper are in the lead so far.
The pups, just weeks old when they were rescued, were found off the coast of California with no adults nearby. The naming options all pay tribute to their homeland: Obi comes from San Luis Obispo and Watson from the town of Watsonville, near where one of the pups was found, for example.
Pups 870 and 872 spent time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium before coming to the Shedd, where staff members have been teaching them otter skills like grooming their fur, foraging and diving in water.
Voting is open now and will end Sept. 28. Participants can vote as often as they want.
The pups’ names will be revealed on Sept. 30, and they’ll be introduced to the Regenstein Sea Otter Habitat so the public can meet them.
The poll coincides with Sea Otter Awareness Week, which runs Sept. 22-28.
More photos of the pups: