It’s a cuddle party! Sea otters are just about the cutest members of the animal kingdom, largely due to the fact that they legit cuddle (Finding Dory fans, rejoice!) and hold hands as they sleep so that they don’t drift away from each other. The adorable factor is just one of the reasons Chicago’s sweetest otters remind us of your human child, however. We thought Sea Otter Awareness Week was the perfect time to break it down for you.
They have trouble staying still.
Shedd’s Assistant Supervisor of Penguins and Otters, Christy Sterling, says the aquarium’s otters are constantly on the go, fidgeting, moving and foraging. Sound like anyone you know?
They get distracted by, well, everything.
Otters are well-known for their short attention spans, which is why Sterling says it’s important that Shedd’s trainers keep them consistently stimulated, mentally and physically. Um, we call that parenthood.
They are super expensive to feed.
Sterling says Shedd’s sea otters are the most expensive animal to feed because of the sheer volume of food they eat and how frequently they need to be fed. Otters eat about 25 percent of their body weight daily, roughly equivalent to humans eating 25 or more burgers a day. You know, like a growing teen at McDonald’s.
They always have to be on top of their mother.
Otter pups take a while to learn to swim, and even though their fluffy fur keeps them pretty buoyant (cue the awws), they still rest on top of their mom often while young. But we can’t imagine the otter mommas would have it any other way.
They need naps throughout the day.
Because otters are so active 24/7, it makes sense that they would need to nap just as much as your toddler does. And just like your tot, otters can sleep anytime, anywhere.
They have unique, individual personalities.
Just as your first child is nothing like your second, otters all have very distinct personalities. According to Sterling, Shedd’s precious otter pup, Ellie, was fiercely independent almost immediately and barely needed to be bottle-fed.
They can be picky eaters.
Although the five otters currently residing in Shedd are pretty easy-going, Sterling says the aquarium has had otters before that have refused to eat certain types of fish. #ParentLife
They like to hide their treasures.
Otters spend all their time playing and messing around, which includes sneaking the special little things they find into the nooks and crevices of their habitat. Checked under your kiddo’s bed lately?
They’re playful as all get-out.
Not unlike the littles in your home, otters are the smallest marine animal and are perhaps most popular for their energetic spunk. So if you go to see the otters at Shedd and they’re not very active, just come back in about 5 minutes.
And, let’s be real, they could get away with just about anything.
At the end of the day, it all circles back to the fact that these little guys are so darn adorable. Even if they get rowdy and break a few toys (as Sterling says they often do) or cost more money than the average specimen (at least they don’t need to pay for college), we can’t help but love ’em anyway.