Nothing spreads joy (unless you're a koi) quite like an adorable otter.
What better way to celebrate these animals than by appreciating Sea Otter Awareness Week?
"The coolest way of telling river otters apart from sea otters is if you look at their back legs. If you look at them and they have paws, that means they're a river otter and if you look and they have flippers, that means they're a sea otter," explains otter trainer Rachel Nelson.
Wild sea otters can be found near kelp forests along the North American coast from southern California to Alaska. Sightings in Vancouver waters, however, are rare.
"If you go to the west coast of Vancouver Island, you can see wild sea otters," adds Nelson.
Incredibly, sea otters can live their entire lives without ever leaving the water. Unlike other marine mammals, they have no blubber and rely on extremely dense fur to stay warm. Their furry coats contain about a million hairs per square inch.
They also beat the cold by consuming 25 to 40 per cent of their body weight daily. An average sea otter meal includes invertebrates such as shells, clams, crabs, and sea urchins. The Aquarium's eight resident otters enjoy a steady diet of clams, squid, pollock, and a type of smelt know as capelin.
Sea otters are also notable for their use of tools. The animals will often use rocks as hammers to crack open hard shells.
Perhaps the most interesting attribute of sea otters is their "pockets." Their loose fur forms a natural fold under each armpit, creating a perfect place to stash a snack or rock.
Curious onlookers can check out the Aquarium's otters from home through the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre's Twitch livestream.
The Vancouver Aquarium is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be booked online to reserve a spot.
Sea Otter Awareness Week continues through Sep. 24.