Sea Stacks

Who is the one being trained?

Nellie is a well-trained sea otter at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.



  1. This is adorable… (glad I tweeted this to you on twitter)

  2. Sasha's Mum says:

    The expression on her face at :36 is absolutely priceless. “Dude, that’s the wrong size, get with the program here!”

  3. 260Oakley says:

    She’s a shoe in for the next World Cup Championship.

  4. Bonus handholding cuteness at the end!

  5. SarahMonster says:

    0:33 – 0:37 = ❤

  6. I, for one, welcome our new Otter overlords

  7. At first I read the title too quickly and thought it was Sleestax. Oh noes, thinks me, what is so cute about Sleestax? And why would they be using plastic cups? What do they drink? Would they cup their webbed hands to access and consume a refreshing beverage?

    Then I saw the video and was relieved it was about cute ottersons.
    Still….I ponder the Sleestax issues.

  8. (scribbling on To Do list)
    Must touch thumbs with otters.

  9. Stacking is awesome but I have to give it up for the last seconds of hand holding – including with human thumbs!

  10. Crazy Pants says:

    I love that you had a whole inner dialogue about Sleestax!

  11. The Original Jane says:

    I saw this the other day and thought of submitting it to CO – but I don’t know how. And yes, please watch the very, very end with the paw/hand holding. SO sweet!

  12. OMCG! (Oh my cutein’ goodness) Squee squee squee! I don’t know where to start. I believe I may have peed myself I was so ovewhelmed with cute. What is not to be adored in this clippersons? The otter handholding at the end was the end. Killet people killet!

  13. Blue Footed Booby says:

    Reminds me of something my college roommate used to say: “I’m so happy I could poop.”

  14. Amazing!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!!!!!

  15. That is what I thought. “This is broken here!”

  16. Yes to Dash above and Susan below. The hand/paw holding was the best part!

  17. Or, to be precise, the stacking (and the unstacking, OMG, so cute) was fabulous, and the paw holding was the icing on the cake, the bow on the package, the crowning triumph of a wonderful performance…

  18. its true, she otta win

  19. Although Rick, Will, and Holly probably would have appreciated the plastic cups……

  20. As I understand it, otters don’t have to be trained to do stuff like this. They naturally prefer things to be tidy and organized. If only we could breed dogs and cats to be so neat.

  21. Also: look reeeally closely at 0:44 and see Nellie give the cup a satisfied thwack to make sure it fits nicely in the larger cup.

  22. The handholding must be a trained thing. They did what they were supposed to do, and let go as soon as she indicated that they fulfilled the task. But the thing that got me was the way the otter handed her the cups. So tiny arms that still try to give the cups to her, even if they only reach an inch closer!

  23. I live right down the steet from the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma and sea otters are my favorite animals (although I love almost all animals) so this makes me extra super happy!! 😀

  24. I’ve come back to watch it again! And now I can’t get over how adhorbs her search amongst the cups for yummersons is! Teddy the procupine, you may have lost your top spot in my CO heart to this otter! (But only just!)

  25. I love the way she looked at the human and was all “You gave them to me in the WRONG ORDER!”

  26. I love how she hand them over. So friggin cute!

  27. Aaaggghhh! The little look up to the Hooman is just too much!

  28. I thought the exact same thing.

    And though I wouldn’t mind a career caring for baby zoo animals, now I want to switch into the otter training program.

  29. Martha in Washington says:

    YAY PDZ&A! I love that place! I should really think about going again sometime soon!

    And also…OTTERS!

  30. So if I stick my thumb out, will I get an otter pup grabbing on too?

  31. Whoa, Nellie.

  32. and moderators.

  33. And here I am back for my squillionth view today. It’s just so squeeeing cute I can’t stand it!

  34. Yes — the little “here!” gesture to helpfully hand the cups to the human was hilarious. Helpful little thing with her tiny arms!

  35. And children.

  36. Her disgruntled expression at :36 is my favorite part of all but the paw holding and the thumb touches at the end run a close second. Otters would have to work very hard NOT to be adorabuhls – I seriously don’t think that’s even possible.

  37. Yep. “If you’re going to do my work, do it PROPERLY, ya moron!”

  38. 😀
    I thought everyone wondered about this!

  39. Marjorie Berkowitz says:

    Human say: “High Five!” Otter say: “One of your equal five of mine! High One!”

  40. or my favorite, “he’s so cute i could hit him with a hammer!”*

    *it’s dark, i know, but trust me, the person who says it is the most sunshiney gal on the planet.

  41. and world affairs.

  42. i know, right? OTTERS!

  43. ::adds “play with otters” to her bucket list::

  44. Blue Footed Booby says:

    I read about a german shepard once that liked to organize his toys into neat lines. I sent a link to the article to my mom, who replied “How very German.”

    Anywho, I found it interesting because this is something human children with autism do, often (as I understand it) before other symptoms become obvious.

  45. Veggie mom says:

    and husbands

  46. Me too! My head sploded.

  47. definitely husbands.

  48. Fird Birfle says:

    have either of you looked at the entry “Otters” in the CO Glossary??

    I’m pretty sure it’s a wondrous location that Theo built.

  49. Fird Birfle says:

    oops self-grammar-policing.

    I should have worded myself “HAS either of you ….” (etc)