There's never a dull moment in our sea otter exhibit!
The southern sea otters in our Sea Otters exhibit love to play with toys, lounge in ice buckets or just snooze. We feed ours four times a day, often putting the food in toys to stimulate the otters' natural behavior of pounding and working to get food out of shells.
Our aquarists also teach the otters behaviors, like holding a target with their paws or walking onto a scale. Training keeps our otters mentally and physically stimulated—it also makes working with the otters safer for us and less stressful for them.
Scientists have sequenced the DNA of our exhibit otter, Gidget, and are comparing it to samples collected from 2,000-year-old otter bones and teeth. Understanding how modern otters compare to their ancestors can help this threatened species recover.
This clever and inquisitive sea otter has raised her first pup as a surrogate mother. She taught the rescued pup how to groom his fur and find food, and very soon, he'll be ready to be released. Good job, Selka!
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Otter Program has been studying the threatened southern sea otter since 1984 with the aim of understanding threats to the population and promoting its recovery. We rescue, treat and release injured otters; raise and release stranded pups through our surrogate program; seek homes for sea otters that can't return to the wild; and conduct scientific research.
Our standards-based curriculum has been developed to provide educators with easy-to-use, Aquarium-centered science activities for the classroom.