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New Virtual Sea Otter Encounter Launches at Shedd Aquarium

Come face-to-face with the playful, adorable sea otters that call Shedd home

August 28, 2020

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

Pivoting the ever-popular onsite otter encounters, Shedd Aquarium has launched a limited-time digital opportunity to get up close and go behind-the-scenes during a sea otter play session. During this Virtual Sea Otter Encounter, watch them dive, hear them vocalize, observe as they socialize, learn how their sustainable, restaurant-quality food prep happens and so much more. Guests from anywhere in the world can hang out with the otters during this live 35-40-minute experience from the comfort of home. Further, participants can explore their curiosities by sending questions to Shedd’s animal care team, as they share interesting details about otters like how they have the densest fur of any animal, how grooming is critical, and how they eat 25% of their body weight daily.

Each session will be unique, and while Shedd cannot guarantee which sea otters will participate, guests will virtually meet at least one of the sea otters at the aquarium, like pups Cooper or Watson, Luna, Ellie, Kiana, or Yaku. Chances are that participants in each encounter will interact with an otter that was rescued from the wild and learn how caring for these animals daily has led to the aquarium responding for decades when otters are in need. Five of the six otters at Shedd were directly rescued from the wild as young pups.

Shedd’s onsite Extraordinary Experiences remain paused, but this new virtual encounter is the latest way to connect with the aquatic animal world following the launch of a limited-time Virtual Sea Lion Encounter. Participating in virtual programs like this help fuel Shedd’s mission and to find additional ways to support the aquarium please click here.

WHEN: This program is available for a limited time from Sept. 5 – Sept. 30. Sessions will happen seven days a week at 11 a.m. CST. There will also be three evening sessions on Sept. 10, Sept. 17 and Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. CST.

HOW: Guests can learn more, view dates and check availability on Shedd’s website:

The experience is $59.95/$54.95 for members. The encounter is priced per screen, and Shedd recommends groups of up to four per purchase, so the encounter can be enjoyed together.

Interested in a private virtual experience? Schedule a virtual encounter for your next family or work gathering. Contact [email protected].

VISUALS: High resolution visuals of the sea otters at Shedd are available for download:
Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez