This week marks Sea Otter Awareness Week – and aquariums are celebrating by sharing pictures and videos of their otters on Twitter.
Vancouver Aquarium shared this video of a baby sea otter named Hardy being introduced to his new foster mum, long-time resident Tanu.
“It took Hardy a moment or two to realize that Tanu had joined him in the Finning Habitat,” said Kristi Heffron, senior marine mammal trainer at Vancouver Aquarium.
“Then Tanu went to Hardy and put him on her chest, just like a mother would do to her pup.”
The public can now see the pair – and the aquarium’s other sea otters Katmai, Mak, Knuik, and Rialto – swimming and playing together at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Aquariums have been Tweeting using #SeaOtterTweetOff – sharing their pictures and videos of Sea Otters.
— Seattle Aquarium (@SeattleAquarium) September 25, 2017
— Vancouver Aquarium (@vanaqua) September 25, 2017
— Minnesota Zoo (@mnzoo) September 25, 2017
— OregonCoast Aquarium (@orcoastaquarium) September 25, 2017
— Oregon Zoo (@OregonZoo) September 25, 2017
Sea otters play a critical role in the marine ecosystem as a keystone species. They promote a healthy kelp forest that, in turn, supports thousands of organisms. They are the top predator in their ecosystem, and they are indicator or sentinel species, meaning they reflect the condition of the environment they live in.
Sea Otter Awareness Week (SOAW) provides the opportunity to educate the public about sea otters, their history and the conservation issues they face.