Warning: extreme cuteness ahead.

By Meghan Overdeep
March 28, 2019
Georgia Aquarium

A month after the unexpected passing of their 18-year-old otter Oz, please join us in welcoming two adorable baby sea otters to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta!

It’s the ultimate rags to riches tale of 10-week old Mara and five-week-old Gibson, two southern sea otter pups found stranded in California who now call the Western Hemisphere’s largest aquarium home.

Mara was just one week old when rescuers found her near Port San Luis in San Luis Obispo County. After she was deemed non-releasable by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it became vital to find her a home. If Georgia Aquarium, with its ability to provide her with around-the-clock care, hadn’t stepped up, she would have been euthanized.

Fast forward to earlier this month. Georgia Aquarium staff was in California preparing Mara for her trip to Atlanta when they learned of another baby otter in dire circumstances.

Little Gibson was just three weeks old when he was separated from his mother during a large storm. Attempts to reunite them failed, and again, rescuers were faced with euthanasia. Luckily, the Aquarium was already organizing transport back to Atlanta with Mara, and they were able to adjust their plans so that Gibson could call Georgia Aquarium home, too.

According to a news release, the moment they got off their private plane, Mara and Gibson were put into a behind-the-scenes area where they are under 24-hour watch and care. Mara is currently eating solid fish and swimming on her own, but Gibson is still being bottle fed. They both have a lot of growing to do before they can be put on exhibit.

“Both Mara and Gibson will be ambassadors for their endangered species and will provide millions of guests the chance to make a connection and learn more about them,” the news release reads. “Through this connection, it’s the hope that millions will produce a deeper understanding and respect for these animals and want to preserve their natural environment for years to come. By caring for very young sea otters, we also have the opportunity to learn more about them during these formative years of their development.”

WATCH: Georgia Aquarium Mourning Sudden Passing of Treasured Sea Otter

We can’t wait to watch these two cuties grow!