Looking for something otterly adorable to take your mind of the dreary, rainy weather?
Look no further. It’s Sea Otter Awareness Week and the Vancouver Aquarium has organized lots of activities and family fun to celebrate.
From Sept. 21 to 29 there will be a number of opportunities to see and learn about the positively irresistible critters — from otter feeding and enrichment sessions to educational talks and pre-bookable up-close encounters.
An aquarium spokeswoman says visitors can expect to see furry buddies Tanu, Katmai, Mak, Kunik, Rialto, and Hardy show off their grooming techniques, paw-holding finesse and their skill at friendly wrestling matches.
Lucky visitors might even catch a glimpse of the newest member to the group, Tazlina (but friend’s call her Taz), who was discovered by fishermen in Alaska in April as an abandoned newborn.
If you’re not able to visit the Aquarium, you can always tune in to this live otter web cam that’s capturing all the candid cute moments.
A LITTLE HISTORY ON OTTERS…
“The Northern sea otters —the largest member of the weasel family — were once widely found all over the North Pacific Rim, from northern Japan to Russia, Canada and the U.S., but, by the start of the 20th century, the maritime fur trade had reduced that number to a mere 2,000,” an aquarium release stated.
“B.C.’s sea otters are descendants of 89 Alaskan sea otters that were relocated by government biologists to the west coast of Vancouver Island between 1969 and 1972.
“By 2008, their population had ballooned to 5,000, and at this point, estimates suggest that number has climbed to 6,000.”
While B.C. sea otter numbers are continuing to grow, the Canada Fisheries Act and the B.C. Wildlife Act still protects them as a “threatened” species.
Here’s a list of what’s on:
- Daily sea otter feeds and enrichment sessions at the sea otter habitat throughout the day
- Sea otter family programs— fun for the young and the young-at-heart — at 10:45 a.m. daily
- Educational talks about the role sea otters play in coastal ecosystems at the Life in the Kelp Forest program at 12:30 p.m. daily at the Strait of Georgia exhibit
- The occasion to meet Vancouver Aquarium mascot Ollie the Sea Otter every morning.
- The opportunity to get up close with these charismatic critters during a sea otter encounter. (Animal encounters are limited and must be booked in advance.)
- The chance to visit the gift shop and symbolically adopt one of the sea otters by purchasing an Aquadopt Kit. All proceeds go to looking after our sea otters and our conservation mission
Sea Otter Awareness Week
Location: Vancouver Aquarium
Date: Saturday, Sept 21 – Sunday, Sept 29.
Time: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park (845 Avison Way)
To purchase tickets: vanaqua