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HOLIDAY TREATS FOR THE OTTERS

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Volunteering | Mammals

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hugh

A snowy scene complete with a snowman. Curious eyes glancing from fur coats scanning the scene for presents left for them. Holiday Cheer filling the air as stockings are hung and colorful strings of lights glow. Tis the season for the sea otters of the Aquarium of the Pacific to enjoy the festivities of the “Holiday Treats For The Animals.

I had the joy of helping to decorate the sea otter exhibit for the holidays during one of my Saturday shifts. By spreading snow and ice around the deck we turned the Central California themed exhibit into one that looked more like a scene from the movie “White Christmas”. In the snow we spread treats of crab legs and clam flavored ice goodies for our furry friends. As I placed the presents on the snow I had visions in my head of Santa’s sleigh being pulled by eight tiny Christmas seals wearing reindeer antlers. I think those thoughts may have been caused by a lack of oxygen due to the fact that I had just hauled over a dozen 50 pound bags of snow up to the exhibit. Husbandry volunteers really earned their keep at the Aquarium.

Of course with all that snow around me I couldn’t resist the urge to build a snowman. Its not often a Southern California native like myself has the opportunity to construct Frosty the Snowman right in what I consider my backyard. My hands were freezing afterwards but it was worth it to watch Summer the sea otter check out the snowman. She seemed to enjoy sniffing out the ice treats on Frosty that I used to make his eyes, nose, mouth, arms and hat. Later Brook the sea otter would topple the snowman as she climbed up it to get at the large ice treat making up the hat. Just like the snowman from the television cartoon, when the hat came off, the snowman ceased to be. But don’t cry dear sea otters, Frosty will be back again some day.

HOLIDAY TREATS FOR THE OTTERS
Stocking hung up over the sea otter exhibit.  | Hugh Ryono
HOLIDAY TREATS FOR THE OTTERS
Brook the sea otter enjoying her holiday treats.  | Hugh Ryono
HOLIDAY TREATS FOR THE OTTERS
The Aquarium's sea otters really enjoyed the snowman.  | Hugh Ryono

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