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Celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week at Shedd Aquarium

Physical and Virtual Options to Come Eye-to-Eye with the Only Sea Otters in Chicago

September 22, 2020

Sea otter Luna's dark coloring and light-colored whiskers make her easy to pick out among the other otters.

Shedd Aquarium is calling attention to the importance of sea otters to honor Sea Otter Awareness Week, which began on Sunday, Sept. 20. The annual, week-long effort helps elevate the critical role of this endangered, keystone species in protecting their native habitats.

This year’s celebration is made even more critical by a recent study, which found that the decline of sea otters in the wild can exacerbate the already damaging effects of climate change on kelp forests, which otters help to maintain.

There are several ways that the public can celebrate and support sea otters with Shedd:

See otters in person

  • While onsite at the aquarium, guests can see several of the six resident otters at Shedd. Animal care staff can often be spotted participating in play sessions or doing feeds on exhibit, allowing guests to get a close look at their diving and foraging behaviors. Every ticket helps support the ongoing care of these otters, five of which were in need of a home after being rescued from the wild.

Participate in a virtual encounter

  • This behind-the-scenes experience is a new way to get up close with the otters at Shedd. Feeding and play sessions explore the playful animals’ unique behaviors, adaptations and favorite foods. Plus, caretakers answer guests’ questions in real time thanks to live chat feature. Participants leave with a new appreciation of sea otters and concrete ways they can help the species continue to rebound – all without leaving home.

Symbolically adopt an otter

  • A symbolic adoption is a direct contribution that fuels Shedd Aquarium’s mission, which includes rescuing, rehabilitating and providing forever homes for several otters like Cooper and Watson, who were rescued within days of each other last year before coming to Shedd. This feel-good gift also comes with an otter plush, a certificate of adoption and a photo of the adopted otter.

Shedd Aquarium is now open to the public, but financial support remains critical. Purchasing a ticket helps fuel the aquarium’s mission and offset the impacts of COVID-19. Guests can also explore several ways to make a contribution to benefit the aquarium’s research, conservation and animal care efforts.

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 20 – Saturday, Sept. 26

WHERE: Shedd Aquarium

TICKETS: Tickets to visit the aquarium must be secured before arrival. This can be done on Shedd’s website or by phone: 312-939-2438.

VIDEO: New video of the sea otters at Shedd can be found here:

Video credit: ©Shedd Aquarium