Cool Kid Hannah Rutten working to save endangered porpoise

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- You may have seen Hannah Rutten at the Aquarium Of The Pacific in Long Beach, where she volunteers once a week and helps run the touch tanks.

This 14-year-old from Pasadena is also now on a bigger mission to save an endangered porpoise called the Vaquita.

"It's the most endangered marine mammal in the world," said Rutten. "It lives exclusively in the Gulf of California, and it's dying because it's getting caught in illegal gill nets."

Vaquita only grow to about five feet long, and the Marine Mammal Center estimates only 30 remain in the Gulf of California.

Rutten's aunt helped her make 3-D replicas of baby Vaquita to help raise awareness about the mammal's plight. Back in March, the teen also hosted a walk in Long Beach with KELP, which stands for Keep, Explore, Love and Protect.

"It's really amazing," said Rutten. "You really get to feel like you're making a difference, because I love marine life. When I get to tell people about why they're in trouble, I'm protecting what I care about."

Now, this ABC7 Cool Kid is focused on becoming a marine biologist so she can run her own aquarium or marine mammal rescue center.
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