Creative Commons photo by [James Brooks] is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In need of a pick-me-up? Let’s take a look back at the top highlights from Sea Otter Awareness Week

Kelsey Maloney  – October 3, 2018 | Updated October 19, 2018

Each year zoos, aquariums, marine institutions, researchers, academics, and the public all participate in assorted events and activities to help protect, raise awareness about, and celebrate sea otters, a.k.a. the cuddliest water animals in our humble opinion. We can’t think of a better way to do just that than by reminiscing about our favorite GIFS from #SeaOtterAwarenessWeek. Bonus: We’ll learn key facts about why these furry friends are so vital to the West.

Fact #1. Not only are sea otters adorable to look at, but they also play a vital role in the marine ecosystem. For example, they help maintain healthy kelp forest, which in turn supports thousands of organisms.

Check out this guy who is eager to get the job done:

More Videos From Sunset

 

Fact #2: These slippery sea weasels just might have the cutest habit ever. They tend to hold hands with each other while resting so they don’t drift away from one another.

A severe case of never letting go can be seen here:

Fact #3. In California, sea otters attract a lot of attention (deservingly so) from locals and visitors alike. This means it’s important to be informed when going to view them and how to not put the mammals and yourself at risk.

Take some tips from this North American river otter on how to stand quietly while wildlife viewing:

Fact #4. Here’s something else important you otter know (pun intended!): right now, the species is at risk from oil spills, disease, and predation, which has placed them as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

This cutie thanks you for paying attention to its brethren’s critical risk:

Fact #5: Sea otters spend the majority of their lives on their backs and only flip over when required to use their front paws or to dive underwater for food.

View an example of an otter enjoying the floaty life:

Keep Reading: