There’s a new sea otter in town and she’s ‘otter-ly’ adorable!

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NEW ORLEANS - Sleek, agile - and adorable! The sea otter exhibit is one of the most popular at the Aquarium of the Americas in downtown New Orleans, and it’s easy to see why.

Courtesy: Audubon Nature Institute

And now there’s a new girl in town. Meet Ruby. At only 18 months, she’s still young in otter years and is very curious about her new home. Trainers at the aquarium say Ruby was very eager to explore her new exhibit and that introducing her to Clara, the resident sea otter at the aquarium, really helped Ruby adapt to her new environment:

"She feels more confident, feels more comfortable out in that big, large exhibit when she has a friend with her," says sea otter trainer Nicola Donnelly.

And a friend is a good thing to have for a sea otter. They are very social animals and having two females together will help strengthen their bond and keep them active and healthy.

Ruby is also helping to spark more interest and curiosity in sea otters and the conservation efforts that are out there to help save their natural environments. Trainers say they are getting a lot more questions about the sea otters and that helps them to spread their message about the programs and conservation efforts that are available to help save them and their natural habitats.

In fact, Ruby came from one of those conservation programs. Abandoned as a pup at one day old, Ruby's chances for survival were almost non-existent. Thankfully, the Monterrey Bay Aquarium in California was notified and Ruby was picked up and rehabilitated. While they wanted to release Ruby back in the wild, unfortunately after many attempts, it wasn't successful. So Ruby was chosen to come to New Orleans to spend her time with Clara where she now acts as ambassador with the other animals to spread the message on these important conservation programs.