The Nyac Tribute Roll

People, this video is like the "Who Died" part of the Oscars. There’s even a piano soundtrack.

Ruhmember dear ole Nyac, the intrepid survivor of the Exxon Valdez spill, who went on to achieve GREATNESS by holding hands with her Vancouver Zoo tankmate? Now you can relive her getting cleaned up from oil, chomping on a crab lunch, and yes, holding paws.

Sarah W. Made us get our otter-embroidered hankies out again. Thanks a LOT.



  1. Dreamspinner Cheryl says:

    Rest in peace, sweet otter. You brought a smile to many faces.

  2. *sniff sniff*

  3. Ahhhnnn. She was so awesome. May she rest in peace.

  4. somerset1212 says:

    Wonderful for C.O. to post this tribute. Yes-sad ,but maybe 20 years was a good long time for her.This is one of the most impressive animal stories ever.

  5. firepikachu says:

    If I were a cartoon I would have the water fountain eyes… So beautiful!

  6. I have no idea why, but it never occurred to me, while reading the write up prior to viewing,that she died. I was seriously caught off guard with the final text and teared up. What a little cutie she was.

  7. Awwwwww I love this little gal! Sadder than anything.

  8. BWAHHHHHH!!!!!

  9. Poor Nyac I feel sorry.

  10. P. Erasmus says:

    I can’t take it!

  11. scooterpants says:

    well sarah.
    that was uplifting….
    thank you.

  12. *sniff* not fair that they live such shorter lives than us!

  13. aside from the whole thing, the best part of this video is the clip of Nyac being cleaned up and transported, with the tantalizing and mysterious caption: CELEBRITY OTTERS!

    you mean: there are MORE celebrity otters? who? where?

  14. just a beautiful tribute. sweet Nyac, forever holding paws in the great ottery beyond.

  15. Was her leukemia thought to be connected to her contamination exposure?

  16. berthaservant says:

    :: salute ::

    Goodbye, old girl!

  17. This video broke my heart, but in a good way. This fluffy little otter will be deeply missed. The holding paws video is one of the most touching ever. Baroo, Nyac!

  18. Aw. So very, very Qtes.

  19. Reminds me, did anyone see that Scarlett died?

    That was another special lady

  20. That’s a cute old dame.

    what’s 20 otter years translate to human years?

  21. Saw Nyac a few times, but never knew her story. Don’t drive drunk, captains!
    Took a picture of her and her floaty buddy and presented it to a co-worker who had given birth to twins, and it hangs in her office. Shan’t tell her.

    And a baroo for the wavy-paw freezeframe at the end of the video.

    Thanks for the post, Meg.

  22. well now I am crying poor little otter. I loved the holding hands video and this tribute is beautiful.

  23. the shot at adorabuhls..

  24. Otterly sad.

  25. She had a good rest of her life, and brought happiness to so many, Baroooo.

  26. mommy25bunnies says:


  27. awwww…
    i didn’t know Nyac had passed away.

  28. Does anyone know if there are any reports published about her life/death – any findings of the oil spills effect? Is the Chronic leukemia directly related to the oil? Poor little girl, she was quite charismatic.

  29. There has been much research done on humans that petroleum based products cause cancer. It would not surprise me if that was the case.

    What a lovely otter Nyac was. I’m happy that she was happy for almost 20 years!

  30. I am now crying. aww.

  31. Can’t cry… must.. hold… in!

    Don’t want my little nieces to think anything is wrong.

    SO sad 😦 I absolutely love the video of them holding hands. One of my favs…. now I’m always going to tear up knowing that one of them is now gone.
    It looked like she had a wonderful life though after she was rescued.

  32. Awww, darnit, I’m all teary-eyed over Nyac and Scarlett. :sniffle:

    On the bright side, it looks that Nyac had a decent otter life:
    “Lifespan: Sea otters can live up to 25 years of age, although the average lifespan is 10 to 12 years.”

  33. Awww, that made me all teary-eyed.

    I hope other Celebrity Otters will follow Nyac’s fine example of how to live and not succumb to the temptations of fame. I don’t want to read about any otters in rehab!

  34. I remember the Exxon Valdez and all those horrible pics…. I know I shouldn’t get political but this is why I hate the idea of offshore oil drilling. Innocent lives are put at risk so we can drive.
    What a blessing she made it and lived as long as she did. I do hope they learned something from studying her.

  35. Otters are my fave wild animal. Nyac was a good example of why. Baroooo!

  36. Damn, I didn’t know the little critter died. (;_;) So cute and cuddly.

  37. Treestar! says:

    For all those of you who are wondering about whether or not Nyac’s leukemia was directly related to the spill…

    “The aquarium said lymphocytic leukemia has not been seen in sea otters, and that there may be a link with the oil spill.”

    Poor Nyac, we miss her very much.

  38. Rooanne, I am opposed to offshore drilling as well. But just something interesting to note… Did you know that many of our synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester are derived from petroleum? Also, the bulk of cosmetics contain petroleum products. You might want to look into Burt’s Bees and Lush if you don’t like the idea of putting petroleum on your body. Also, just wearing cotton will help you stay out of the petroleum scene. =0)

    I was 4years old when I the spill happened. I remember being so sad and frustrated that I couldn’t go help scrub the otters. lol

  39. Small note of correction (only because my wife used to volunteer there)–they were at the Vancouver Aquarium, not the zoo. Will be missed 😦