Photo for illustrative purposes only

Hungry otter at Japanese aquarium adorably hugs and taps caretaker, squeals for food

Whether they're cracking shells with a stone on their bellies or grooming themselves, sea otters have all kinds of moves that delight humans. Understandably, their cute appearance and behavior make them a favorite among aquarium visitors.

Kira-chan キラちゃん, an Alaskan sea otter kept at the Toba Aquarium (鳥羽水族館 toba suizokukan) in Toba City, Mie Prefecture, is a very popular sea otter, and she entertains the audience with various performances during meal times.

Take a look this video of Kira-chan which went viral after the Toba Aquarium released it on Twitter:

"Kira-chan's Sea Otter language. She's saying: 'Hurry up and feed me,' I imagine."

Kira-chan is hungry, so she comes up to "hug" the caretaker, taps her paws against her and squeals her request to be fed.

Many people were charmed by squeals, leaving comments such as:

  • "This is the sound that sea otters make, isn't it?"
  • "It sounded like she was saying: 'Hurry up!'"
  • "She's so cute, I could watch this forever..."

This isn't the first time we've seen Toba Aquarium's creatures. For example, we previously introduced the headbanging otter Mei and the Kamehameha-delivering walrus Ku-chan.

Sea otters are naturally cautious and sensitive animals. They are said to be even more cautious on land, since their movements are slower.

The fact that the two otters are so tolerant of humans is proof that their caretakers are doing a good job.

As of January 2022, the Toba Aquarium is the only place in Japan where you can see two sea otters.

If you want to see these two adorable animals in person, why not visit the Toba Aquarium the next time you are in the area?

By - grape Japan editorial staff.