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The Food Room: Sea Otters

What do our exhibit sea otters eat?

Take a peek behind the scenes in our food room and learn how we prepare their meals.

Watch Sea Otter Aquarist Courtney prepare food for our sea otters.

See what’s on the menu.

Sea otter vitamins

We also make them special ice cube vitamins. These aren’t orange flavored, despite their color.

Courtney cuts food into small pieces, which makes it easy to extend training sessions.

And in case you’re curious about what that looks like…

We use food to reward positive behavior, like responding to a command. Watch our otters in action!

Each otter gets a specific amount of food based on a few factors.

Gidget the sea otter being weighed

In addition to looking at their weekly weights we also take into consideration their motivation and appetite. For example, if we notice that the sea otter is starting to drop some food, we might want to lower their diet a notch now that they’re not as hungry.

Weekly weighing of the otters

Getting their weights every week allows us to adjust their diets as needed and monitor their overall health.

We also adjust their diets based on appetite.

Listen as Courtney explains other factors she considers in preparing food.

Watch as Courtney weighs out one of Kit's four daily meals.

Sea otter meal

This is what makes up just one meal for Kit the sea otter. Each of our otters eats between seven and 10 pounds of sustainable seafood every day.

That’s like an average-sized human eating 25 whole pizzas every day!

BONUS VIDEO (for making it this far in the story). We inspect sea otter flippers as part of routine health care.

Sea otter feasting

It's time to eat! Thanks for joining us in our food room.