By Kayla Jardine/Joe Cingrana
You won’t believe how otterly adorable these animals are!
The rescued sea otters at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium are really enjoying their winter wonderland! The aquarium’s staff brought fresh snow into the lovable critters’ habitat so they can have a special enrichment “snow day!”
Sea otters have the densest fur in the animal kingdom, so the little ones took to striding and sliding into the snow in no time at all — necessary play which zoo staff says encourages mental stimulation and gives them plenty of exercise.
Luna, with her solid brown fur and a hint of lighter fur on her muzzle and Kiana with her all-white head, are both Southern and Northern sea otters respectively. The pair are rescues deemed non-releasable by wildlife officials and now call the Shedd Aquarium, one of only a few U.S. institutions experienced in nurturing and rehabilitating stranded and orphaned sea otter pups, their forever home.
Yaku, another Northern sea otter, and Shedd’s only male also participated in the enrichment session. He’s the big guy you see in the video above.