THIS JUST IN: Prosh Pumpkin Poser

The New York Aquarium at Coney Island is gearing up for fall, and that means passing out the pumpkins to cuties like Tazo, the adorable sea otter.

But life wasn’t always so good to Tazo. Orphaned in the wilds of Alaska, the pup was rescued by the Aquarium last year and lovingly raised by keeper Nicole Pisciotta. Here’s a typical day in their lives:

Photo by Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society



  1. Well that is just fantastic. What a sweet little pup and such a lucky keeper! Backstroking and nibbling with his adorable mouth. I love that he gets a blowdry before his nap. And the nursing on the towel and sleepy paw rubbing at 1:47 is just. so. adorable. I hope Tazo has a long and happy life!

  2. My goodness, somebody’s a big spoiled baby (can I spoil him?) and a cutie pie. LOVE otters!

  3. That video KILLED ME!
    The grasping of the food w/ the hands, the suckling on the bottle, the happy otter getting combed and dried off while it falls asleep suckling? it’s blankie!!!! *dies*

  4. … is he sucking on her finger through the towel when she was blow-drying him???

    OMG. *head explodes*

  5. Allow me to shake my fist at the sky yet again… why why why is that not my job? Why?

  6. I agree – I guess I should have paid more attention in my biology courses in college. 😦

  7. What a loving keeper…that pup has a good life. Makes me want to go back to school so I can be an otter-mommy too.

  8. Him rubbing his little paws together as he is falling asleep reduced me to a puddle of glittery goo. Someone get the mop please.

  9. *mops up glitter goo*
    Whew! Excuse me while I collapse from the overwhelming cuteness meself! *klunk*

  10. The little kneading paws!!!!

  11. And those whiskers (starting at 0:12, close-up at 0:22)!

  12. Tazo’s typical day = day in the spa. I want that life. 365 Tazo’s to go please.

  13. Dutch Stinky says:

    This ottie is full grown, but he loves the nursing so bad that he is pretending to be helples.. just like me!

  14. *grabby hands* WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT!!! *heavy sigh followed by pouting*

    What a lucky Otter-Mom to have that job!

  15. OMG… Ded I is ded from the cute otter.

    The whiskers te paws every thing

    Tazi wins the cutest otter contest hands down.

  16. I love water weenies!

  17. so touching and cute!

  18. OMG is he sucking on his security blanket?? SQUEEE!

  19. The gesture the keeper makes as she’s putting him to bed, all moms do that as they’re backing away from the crib. As cute as my baby boy is, good lord I never knew how cute otter babies could be. I think my ovaries just exploded.

  20. Now I know what I want to do when I grow up.

  21. I want to be an otter when I grow up. *sigh*

  22. He has a blankie…awwwwwww

  23. “My blanket… I can’t be without it!”

    I hereby give him the honorary title of: Linus Van of Pelt!

  24. Tazo: This blanket is a necessity. It keeps me from cracking up. It may be regarded as a spiritual tourniquet. Without it, I’d be nothing, a ship without a rudder.

    Me: Good Grief

  25. Can’t breathe from the cute!

  26. EXACTLY!!! omg ded too

  27. 1:45 to 1:50 he is stroking/grooming his own TAIL, not just rubbing his paws together. Is that another security blanket for him?

    “I’ll help mommy just a little bit with the grooming. Not too much though or she’ll think I’m all grown up and stop babying me.”

    “Let’s see, food, bath, dry off, blankie, thumb, tail, mommy tucking me in, yup, this is a good life!”

  28. *Pushes keepers (gently, of course) into a closet (roomy, and with snacks)
    *Goes for a swim with Tazo
    *Blow dries Tazo
    *Gives Tazo bottle (burps him)
    *Climbs into crate-in-a-bucket with Tazo and falls alseep
    *Oh yeah…hops up, runs over and lets keepers out of closet
    *Snuggles back down into crate/bucket for cozy coziness

    *Nearly overdoses on the Qte

  29. I can has SWIMMINK! I can has SHELLFEESH! I can has TOWELDRY! I can has ARMPEET! I can has BOTTLES! I can has GROOMINK! I can FINGERSES! I can has LUBS!!!!!!!

    I SO need to be an orphaned otter in my next life ;D

  30. I love her “must . . . extract . . . fingers . . . without . . . waking . . . baby” gesture too. So brilliant.

  31. *golf clap*

  32. he looks like Wilfred Brimley to me.

  33. monkeylover says:

    omg omg wat do i do im. . . about . . . to . . . die . . .of . . . cuteness

  34. All these years I thought I had zero maternal instincts…turns out I am an otter trapped in a human body!

  35. Oh, he’s otterly adorable.

  36. UGH THE TOWEL SUCKLING!! Dying …..tooo cute…. *blerg*

  37. Actually, not even close to full grown. Sea Otters get from 3 to 5 feet in length depending on sex and subspecies. He’s going to be a much bigger armful then!

  38. Right up there with everyone else on maxing out the jealous gauge! I so want an armful of sleepy baby sea otter!

  39. Moi, Actually says:

    With a touch of Mister Magoo.

  40. Aaaaaawwwwwwww…. *esplode from cute* I wonder if I can volunteer at the zoo as an otter cuddler? Otters are the best aaaaawwww creatures, what is not to love? And I love the handlers nervous mom gestures as she lays him down for his nap, so perfect!

  41. I LOVE his little “SQUEEK” at around :34! Such a precious, beautiful little creature.

  42. IT DOESN’T EVEN LOOK REAL, i’m convinced it’s just a teddy, a friggen adorable teddy………

  43. Where did I go wrong – was it when I elected philosphy as my major in college or when I chose financial services as a career path? Why didn’t I even know I could be an otter mommy?!?!

  44. I’m now convinced my life will not be complete until I’ve had the opportunity to towel-dry an otter. *sigh*

  45. whiskery muzzelpuffs
    + oversized nosicle
    + otteriffic blorpitude
    + very first pumpkin
    + noshing on sushi while floating on back
    + blankie nomming
    = me kilt ded by teh qte.!

    It’s posts like this one that put the “O” in C.O., NTMTOM.


    (I just re-watched it in full-screen with high def.)

  47. My career in my next life.

  48. Now….*scanning through university course catalog* What classes do I sign up for so that I can have this lady’s job?

    *smug bio major hurrpderp*

    *wipes brain matter off of keyboard*


    More than I have wanted anything. Ever.

  50. Wow…that’s all I can say at the moment, cause I just want/need to cry. All baby’s are sweet like this especially when they are nursing and falling asleep. Love the little paw motions when he is suckling on the towel. The keeper is truly caring and has a terrific job. God Bless her and all the other zoo keepers, vets and vet techs!

  51. I’m hoping to be the otter in the next life!

  52. what if the otter could speak? what do you think it would say>
    I sure love it here and I don’t want to leave ever. great friends, food and cuddles.

  53. Totally bewitched by the bewhiskered baby. The finger sucking through the towel KILLED me. Perhaps the cutest little baby animal ever. I totally envy the caretaker. Imagine having that little fella waiting for you every day.

  54. Dutch Stinky says:

    Oh no! it is just a normal, full grown Otter pretending it is a sea otter!

  55. Oh how this reminds me of when my baby was a little baby and you had to be oh so quiet walking away from the crib because Lord help you if you woke the child up!

    Except, this baby is WAY cuter than mine. And mine is pretty darn cute.


  56. It’s an otter spa. Little dude was so lucky to be adopted where he can get a free lap pool, a nice bottle and a beauty treatment every day.

  57. Karen Astner says:

    Everyone has said everything I could say about this video! But I’ll put in my 2 cents worth anyhow. How cute was that?? So loving and warm, cuddly and fuzzy. Not sure who’s the luckiest here. Tazo or Nicole?!? Really glad this video was made. Shows there are still some things right in this world!

  58. KittyMarthaPoo says:

    I can’t decide what is sweetest: the little paws holding the treat whlie in the pool, the little paws holidng the meelk bottle, the towel-drying after the pool, the suckling on the blankie.

    I could watch this video all day long.

  59. I see what you did there. Nothing gets past me 😉

    (love your work, please carry on)

    P.S. I want one.

  60. *watches ottie vid*
    …! x)
    *glances at compie screen, and then at duffel bag, torn between staying cozy at home sipping warm apple cider or packing my bags and immediately moving into the otter day care to devote my life to baaaaby otties. Several more glances between compie screen, bag, screen, bag…*

    Who knew sea otters could be oh-so-adorably sweet and precious? I must have one in my life, and I must have one RIGHT NOW! Well, if I can’t move to the ottie day care, the least I can do is the next best thing – this peekture of Tazo makes a most-perfect background for the compie! Little furball cutie + itty-bitty otter sized pumpkin = a great combination for an October theme! :]

  61. Okay, that was… I mean. Where do I start??? Da feetz! Da handsies. And did he use his blankie as a pacifier? And, well, actually, I will have to say it: squeeee! I have never squeeed before!

  62. I hear you! I’m a manager in HR. Seriously, this would be so much more fulfilling!

  63. How do I go about applying for this job? Srsly?

  64. That was just adorable!!