Shedd Aquarium offering interactive experience like no 'otter'

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Shedd Aquarium now offers a sea life experience like no "otter!"

As a part of the aquarium's growing roster of Extraordinary Experiences, the Shedd Aquarium is giving guests the opportunity to interact up-close with sea otters. This hour-long new addition will allow participants to go behind-the-scenes to interact with the otters through an acrylic partition, and will include food preparation and feeding. Guests will also get the chance to touch and play with the otters before snapping a few pics to wrap up the session.

The experience is designed to bring attendees eye-to-eye with nature on an individual animal level, and to help participants learn more about sea otter biology, behavior and more. Guests will also hear about threats facing the endangered animals in the wild and efforts from Shedd's Animal Response Team to safeguard wild otters in need.

"Guests have never been able to come face to face with the otters like this before at Shedd, and we cannot wait for them to see what we see every day," said Steve Aibel, senior director of marine mammals at Shedd Aquarium. "While they may come in because of the gregarious and engaging nature of the animals, we hope that connecting our otters up close and seeing them look back at you will have a real impact on folks. We want guests to walk away with a greater love for aquatic animals and a real understanding on why they need our help."

The experience launches March 3rd; however, it will only be hosted on weekends until April. Anyone ages 6 and up can participate, but children ages 6-11 must be accompanied by a paying adult, and parents/guardians must sign waivers for participants who are 17 years old or younger.

The experience comes at a slightly hefty price - $109.95 for adults (12+), $94.95 for children (6-11), or $64.95 for members. Admission includes the encounter, express entry, admission to the full aquarium and a ticket to the next available aquatic presentation.

Sea otter encounters and other Extraordinary Experiences can be booked at www.sheddaquarium.org/extraordinary.
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