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Vanity, Thy Name is Otter

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Thursday, November 21, 2013


Vanity, Thy Name is Otter
Brook seemed to enjoy her mirror image.  | Hugh Ryono

Brook the sea otter experiences a mirror for the first time.

Brook is considered by most of the staff to be the most beautiful sea otter at the Aquarium of the Pacific. A few us us even think she is the most attractive of her species anywhere in the world. Brook does carry herself with a certain grace and poise that has earned her the nickname of “The Queen” of the exhibit. However this queen up until recently had never gazed upon her own beauty.

As an enrichment toy an unbreakable mirror was introduced to the sea otter exhibit and Brook. While the rest of the otters were kept backstage Brook approached the pile of ice where the mirror was stationed to check out the new toy. When she first saw her image on the mirror she stopped for a moment seemingly puzzled. You could tell she wasn’t quite sure who this new otter was. Otter curiosity then took over and she more closely checked out the mirror. Going nose to nose with her reflected image she figured out the other otter was her. She seemed to enjoy what she saw in the mirror. Her breath would fog up the mirror as she turned her head this way and that watching her mirrored image closely. In my mind she seemed to be saying to herself, “Oh My! I’m Gorgeous!” For a brief moment vanity had visited this stately otter.

Then the practical side of Brook kicked back in and she turned her attention back to her trainer and her training session. After all, beauty isn’t everything.

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