CHICAGO (CBS) — The Shedd Aquarium’s newest resident got her name Friday, and it’s Luna.
More than 10,000 votes were cast in the contest to name the rescued orphan sea otter who had been known as Pup 681. Luna was one of five names offered in the contest, including Cali, Ellie, Poppy, and Ana.
Luna was only days old on Sept. 30, when she was found alone on a beach in California.
“We don’t know why mom didn’t come back. It could be she was a first-time mom that didn’t know what to do, or perhaps she lost her way,” said Tim Binder, who supervises the aquarium’s rescue program.
Shedd members and staff gathered in the aquarium’s Pacific Northwest otter habitat for the naming party.
Aquarium staffers have been playing the role of mom since Luna arrived at the Shedd in late October.
“The really unique thing about these animals is they have to be taught the skills that they need to survive,” Binder said. “If mom is not there to teach them how to survive, they can’t be taught how to survive and then be released back into their natural habitat.”