Minnesota Zoo Media Contact

If you are a member of the press, please contact: Josh Le
Communications Manager
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
952.212.3428 direct
952.431.9300 fax
josh.le@state.mn.u

September 18-24, 2016

Apple Valley, MINN – September 15, 2016 – The Minnesota Zoo is excited to celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week, featuring the Zoo’s three resident sea otters along Russia’s Grizzly Coast – Capers, Jasper and Rocky. This week long event will include a variety of engaging activities and special opportunities for guests to interact with the zookeepers who care for these charismatic animals.

Activities throughout the week include:
• Meet a keeper and learn more about our resident sea otters at our enrichment sessions scheduled at 11:00 a.m. daily throughout Sea Otter Awareness Week
• “You otter know fun facts” 10:45 a.m. each day at the exhibit. Challenge your knowledge of sea otter trivia!
• Sea otter bookmarks (while supplies last)
• Sea otter story time at 10:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m. in the Bee Hive
• Stop by Saturday, September 24 for a special birthday celebration for Capers who is celebrating a 10 year birthday! He will be enjoying some fun birthday treats at the 11:00 a.m. enrichment session. (Media photo opportunity)
In the early 1900s, people thought the southern sea otter was extinct. Then, in 1915, scientists discovered a group of 50 or so living in a remote cove in Big Sur, California. They kept it a secret until 1938 to protect them. Today, sea otters are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1972, as well as endangered by the IUCN. Threats include oil spills, habitat loss, food limitations, fishing gear entrapment, and conflicts with fisheries.

Did You Know:
• Capers, Jasper and Rocky all came to the Minnesota Zoo as orphaned pups between 2006 & 2007.
• The sea otter’s fur is the thickest fur of any mammal, with 850,000–1,000,000 hairs per square inch.
• Sea otters can stay under water for up to five minutes.
• Sea otters eat 25 to 30 percent of their body weight each day in seafood, including sea urchins, fish, clams, snails, worms, sea stars, crabs, squid, octopus, and abalone.

The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. Its mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).