You see it on the coast of the North Pacific Ocean, a giant ball of fur with a sea urchin dangling out of its mouth. You watch as it walks on land for a bit then it hops back into the ocean. It looks like a giant weasel. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful creature and faith in the majesty of the world again fills your heart. You are staring at an endangered species, the sea otter.
Sea otters were once numerous, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. The fur trade decimated them. Thankfully, conservation efforts have brought back their numbers. Although still considered an endangered species, the future is a bit brighter for these sea pretties. Have you ever seen one?
If you are in the Atlanta area, you are in luck. The Georgia Aquarium has recently added a sea otter exhibit! In the article, “Georgia Aquarium adds sea otter encounter,” Paul Milliken of Myfoxatlanta.com writes, “The new Sea Otter Encounter gives guests a behind-the-glass experience. The programs lasts for 40 minutes and encourages Georgia Aquarium visitors to dive into the world of the southern sea otter. The program includes a tour of the sea otter environment, as well as a chance to help prepare a meal for the otters.”
Normally, this would be quite impossible. I mean, how many of us really have the opportunity to bond with an endangered species? One of the aquarium’s missions is to give guests a bird’s eye view of animals they have never seen before. Isn’t that the purpose of aquariums, to educate the public on unfamiliar creatures and plant the seeds of eco-friendly understanding? By interacting with an endangered species, such as the sea otter, people will be more inclined to protect them.
Nowadays, the problem with man’s carelessness in terms of the environment, especially in this country, is that many don’t interact with it on a consistent basis. The Georgia Aquarium and other aquariums all across the country hope to buck this trend. Animals are our friends. Let’s keep them alive and kicking. If you are interested in some conservation of your own, having your own personal aquarium, contact Arizona Aquatic Gardens.
*Video courtesy of cynthiaholmes