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It’s hard to believe, but this cute baby otter was almost left for dead:

Pup 681

A California resident heard it crying while walking near Coastways Beach and immediately called local animal control authorities. The next day, workers with the Monterey Bay Aquarium found her hungry and thin, weighing in at a mere two pounds.

Pup 681

Upon arrival, Pup 681 (as she’s now called) was quickly given food and eventually transported to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, where she was assigned a team of veterinarians and scientists who are working to teach this otter, well, how to be an otter. And that’s no easy task, by the way.

They had to teach her how to float:
Swimming lessons

And how to swim:
Swimming lessons

They also had to teach her other skills like grooming, foraging and, of course, feeding:

Feeding time

But to ensure the pup receives absolutely everything she needs, the aquarium arranged a rotating schedule of six-to-eight animal care experts to provide for her 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It might seem like a lot for just one animal, but the southern sea otter is endangered and scientists are having trouble boosting the population back up to where it should be. But thanks to the efforts of the two aquariums, they’ve been able to save more than 600 of them since 1984.

When you see something like this, you know all that effort is more than worthwhile:
Snoozing

Welcome to the world, Pup 681! Watch the full video above.