Sea otters nibble on fresh snow at aquarium in Chicago


A bevy of sea otters enjoyed nibbling fresh snow after a blizzard in Chicago.

The video was filmed at Shedd Aquarium in the city of Chicago in the U.S. state of Illinois, during a cold winter spell on January 28.

After a recent snowstorm brought 15 centimetres (6 inches) of thick snow, sea otters Kiana, Luna, Yaku, Cooper and Watson enjoyed frolicking in the mounds of ice.

In the video, the otters are seen playing and jumping around in the piles of snow, some of them even tasting the winter treat.

Kayley Ciocci, the coordinator at Shedd’s Public Relations Department, said: ‘Providing different enrichment is a regular part of sea otter care at Shedd, and the seasonal weather provides the otters with variety and new items to explore, taste, and feel to change up their day.’

She said the aquarium team constantly introduces new elements to the otters’ habitat, which encourage mental stimulation and physical exercise for the animals.

It is of great importance to keep the otters’ everyday activities varied and fun, so carers often use ice cubes, carwash strips, hollow balls, and similar to intrigue these naturally curious animals.

Ciocci said: ‘Sea otters have the densest fur of any animal, up to 1 million hairs per square inch, so they are equipped to manage the cold temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.’

The Shedd Aquarium announced that they are now open for visitors who want to meet and greet the otters and other animals at their Abbott Oceanarium, including beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins and sea lions.