Want to meet an otter up close in New Orleans? Now you can

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The Aquarium of the Americas is always looking to add interesting and unique adventures to help guests have a more unique experience of their visit. Starting October 13, they’re going to be offering a new program to their wild encounters, an up close and personal visit with a sea otter.

Sea Otter GoPro

Your adventure begins in front of the sea otter exhibit where you'll meet Clara and Emma, the two stars of the attraction. In addition to learning about the otters in general, you'll also learn about Clara and Emma's story and how they made it here to New Orleans. Once you're familiar with the pair, you'll move behind the scenes to the kitchens.

If you've ever seen one, you know a sea otter is very energetic. This energy requires a lot of food and the aquarium makes sure Clara and Emma get the nutrients they need. A sea otter will typically eat about 20-25% of their body weight in food every day! Here at the aquarium, they provide squid, clam, pollack, shrimp and Jonas crab. The otters will have a lot of fun with the crab trying to break open the harder outer shell on the crab claws!

Jonas Crab claw

Sea otters are known for their ability to use tools, such as rocks, their own chests, even the acrylic glass in their exhibit to open their food and that’s one of the reason’s you’ll pick out a frozen treat from the freezer. At the end of the tour, you’ll get to see the otters tear open the ice and chomp on their food and get a new toy!

After the food comes the interaction! You’ll be taken behind the exhibit where you’ll see the otter perform several tricks… get to feed them… and, while it isn’t guaranteed, if they’re in an exceptionally playful mood, they may stick their head out so you can get a picture with them. All of this is extra stimulation for the otters’ enrichment.

Sea Otter Interaction

So head on down to the Aquarium of the America’s downtown where a pair of charismatic critters will be waiting to meet you. The encounter is available Thursday through Saturday beginning October 13 and reservations are highly recommended. The price is an additional $75 per person, or $65 if you are an Audubon member. For more information about the experience or to make a reservation, click here.

Sea Otter Behind the Scenes