Our daily feeding sessions with the sea otters are more than what they seem. Our otters were all rescued as pups, and couldn't survive in the wild. These trainings help them practice their natural behaviors, and provide daily mental and physical enrichment.
Training is also a great way to practice behaviors for their health checkups in a relaxed setting. Target training helps focus their attention and link different behaviors together, while "haul outs" help us weigh, move and examine the otters up close. Each behavior is positively reinforced with squid, shrimp and clam pieces.
Behind the scenes, our sea otters act as surrogate mothers, teaching stranded pups how to survive in the wild. Our training sessions are an integral part of keeping our resident otters healthy and sharp for their work to help recover the sea otter population and California's coastal ecosystems. So the next time you join us for a feeding, you're seeing our Sea Otter Program hard at work (and play)!
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