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Field Notes: a Northwest nature blog

One of the reasons many of us live in the Pacific Northwest is the natural wonders that amaze us all. On this blog Seattle Times writers and photographers will share their explorations of the natural world from snowcaps to whitecaps. Write us at with your own sightings, questions and wonders to share.

January 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM

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It's ... an otter! Baby otter doing just fine at Seattle Aquarium

Well the baby ottter at the Seattle Aquarium is now one day old and looking, well, "cute" doesn't begin to say it.

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Mother Aniak with her baby on board at the Seattle Aquarium. Photo courtesy Seattle Aquarium

The pup was born just about 5 a.m. Saturday. It's so fluffy, biologists don't yet know its gender. Pups are born with a natal pelage to give them extra buoyancy. The pup is already nursing, a good sign. This is the second pup born to Aniak, who herself was born at the aquarium.

An otter-watch team has been set up to keep track of the pair's doings, logging data every five minutes into a laptop as they go through their day eating, nursing and grooming.

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What could be puffier or fluffier than a baby sea otter? Photo courtesy Seattle Aquarium

The Seattle Aquarium in 1979 was the first in the world to successfully breed northern sea otters.

This pregnancy was a surprise; the aquarium is not intentionally breeding its otters, in order to save space at the facility for rescues. But now that the pup is here, Aniak and her baby will receive the utmost care.

For more on the birth, and the aquarium's hours, visit the Seattle Aquarium website.

Aniak and her baby are on view and visitors are welcome.

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Aniak and her baby relax at the Seattle Aquarium. Photo, Seattle Aquarium

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