Monday, July 11, 2016

Birthday Trip Day 3: The Monterey Bay Aquarium

The big event of the birthday trip was a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium complete with a behind the scenes sea otter tour. We were all very excited!

We walked in and they gave Joey, Phi and Louie the cutest birthday buttons. Complete with a sea otter on them. We walked around a little before our tour and this place is gorgeous! Earlier this year a Momma Sea Otter came into the Aquariums tide pools and had a pup. Louie and I watched it on a live web-cam. It was cool to see it all in real life.

It was time for our behind the scenes sea otter tour. Now don't get too excited. We weren't able to hold or touch any otters. We learned all about how and why they rescue otters and how most are rehabilitated and sent back to the sea. We saw how they tag them and how they can track them. By tracking them they can see what things in the ocean are hurting the otters and can figure out the best way to save them. Louie's #1 priority in life is to help the otters.

Otter Skull
 We got to learn all about how the people at the aquarium take care of otters and otter pups. One interesting fact was that otter handlers have to wear a special outfit every time they interact with the otters. Years ago they found that otters were becoming attached to the human handlers and were not acclimating to ocean life after release. So now otter pups are being taught how to "otter" by seragate otters. The otters that are permanently at the aquarium will "adopt" the pup and teach it all it needs to know. So that otters do not grow attached to the humans who feed and brush them this is what they wear. Phi was our model.

See that tank behind the girls. That is where the otters that are being rehabilitated live. We even got to see the Otter ICU cameras where we saw the tiniest fluffiest otter.

After our tour we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the aquarium. We saw all kinds of cool things.

This place is amazing. There are so many tanks to explore and animals to see up close and personal. I really loved this place and the girls had such a great time.

The aquarium closed at 5pm and we got ready for a long drive to Santa Barbara. Lucky Louie had a new otter to keep her company.

We spent the next day in Santa Barbara with my parents. This trip was fantastic. It has been weeks since the trip but the girls have not stopped talking about it! We are thinking next year we might go to San Francisco! 

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