Sweet: California-to-Chicago Otter Gets a Name - NBC Southern California

Sweet: California-to-Chicago Otter Gets a Name

The celebrated critter has a moon-pretty handle.



    Sweet: California-to-Chicago Otter Gets a Name
    Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
    Pup 681 was rescued on the California coast earlier in the fall and arrived at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium in late October. She now has a name, chosen by her fans.

    Many a Californian will make their way to Chicago this holiday season, either for a layover at Midway or O'Hare or to set up camp with a relative for a few food- and tradition-filled days of celebrating.

    But one Golden-Stater arrived early, at the end of October, and has stayed on. Her address? She's at the Shedd Aquarium. The reason? Well, not holiday merrymaking, but a little recovery and tending-to. And her name?

    Well, that's a stickier wicket, but one with a sunny ending. Or, not sunny, but rather more moon-like.

    The otter pup rescued from a Pescadero-close beach earlier this autumn was dubbed Pup 681, a temporary handle oft-repeated by media and fans. Twitter and Facebook pages sprung up, and seemingly everyone wanted to know more about the cute critter who'd been flown from the West Coast to the Midwest to recuperate after the Southern Sea Otter Pup was discovered, on a beach, weighing less than six pounds.

    Ms. Pup 681 now has an actual name, however, and the "moon" comment from before was a tip-off: It's Luna, a name chosen via public online voting hosted by Good Morning America. (Cali, Ellie, Poppy, and Ana were other choices.)

    It was a name that Shedd staffers had hoped for, too. And it is a sweet one for Californians, as Luna is a tribute to Half Moon Bay, which is a bit north of the Coastways Beach where a jogger spotted the ailing pup in late September.

    Luna will make her big Shedd Aquarium debut in the spring at the Regenstein Sea Otter Habitat in the Abbott Oceanarium. With over 10,000 people voting on her name, and many more following her story, we can only assume fans are making travel plans now.

    But Luna's new handle isn't the only new thing about her. She got to peek at the otter habitat, where she'll take up residence later in 2015.

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