VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Aquarium’s frolicsome Northern sea otters are some of its most popular residents. During Sea Otter Awareness Week – Sept. 21-29 — they’re positively irresistible, the focus of daily feeds and enrichment sessions, family programs, educational talks and even pre-bookable up-close encounters.
Expect these furry buddies – named Tanu, Katmai, Mak, Kunik, Rialto, and Hardy — to show off their grooming techniques, paw-holding finesse and their skill at friendly wrestling matches. Aquarium mascot Ollie the Sea Otter will appear on-site every morning of this special week, and you may find a sea otter cookie on our café menu.
You might even catch a glimpse of our current otters’ brand new furry buddy, straight outta Alaska. Taz, short for Tazlina, is – like all six of the Aquarium’s long-time sea otters — a rescue, discovered by fishermen in April as an abandoned newborn. Taz has spent the interim at the Alaska SeaLife Center. She arrived at the Aquarium in early September and is slowly being introduced to her new life.
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.
British Columbia’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. Nevertheless, the Canada Fisheries Act and the B.C. Wildlife Act protect the B.C. sea otter population as a “threatened” species.
The week’s special shows and programs include:
- 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
Don’t forget, the Vancouver Aquarium’s opening hours are now 10am – 5pm daily.
Event: Sea Otter Awareness Week at the Vancouver Aquarium
Date: Saturday, Sept 21 – Sunday, Sept 29.
Time: 10.00am – 05.00pm
Where: Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park (845 Avison Way)
Cost: Adult: $38 | Senior / Student: $30 | Child (4 – 12): $21 | Child (0 – 4): $
To purchase tickets: https://www.vanaqua.org/soaw
Contact Information: Vancouver Aquarium at 604-659-3400