A baby sea otter found crying off the coast of Vancouver Island has been rescued and named Hardy in a public vote.
The little chap was picked up by boaters who couldn’t spot an adult anywhere nearby. They took him to Port Hardy, from where he was taken to Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre for some love and care.
The aquarium estimates Hardy was two to four weeks old when he was brought in. At first the staff had to feed, bathe and groom him, just as his mother would in the wild with 24-hour care.
Once he was on the mend, the aquarium decided to let the public vote on a name for him.
They had three choices: Hardy, after the port he was found in, and two words from the local Kwak̓wala language – kasa (sea otter) and masik (large sea urchin).
Kasa came a close second, but Hardy won out.
The pup is still receiving round-the-clock care from the rescue centre, which reports he is learning to groom himself and experimenting with diving.
Hardy has also put on some weight and is becoming more active, so hopefully he’ll be independent soon.
He’s already got legions of fans, thanks to the adorable photos the rescue centre has shared.