Animal lovers are going crazy over an animal program in Louisiana that allows visitors to get close and personal with otters.
How do you relax after a busy week?
People select their leisure activities carefully, and surely there is a wide variety to choose from. You can hang out at a dog park, go to the beach with your friends or stay at home reading your favorite book. The list is endless.
Well, what if I tell there’s a preserve in Louisiana where you can actually swim with otters and hung out with sloth?
Barn Hill Preserve in Ethel is allowing its visitors to spend nearly an hour swimming with otters. These species are the tiniest breed of otters globally, and they really love a good swim.
So, if you’re stressed out from your daily work and you want a unique pick me up, chilling with this Asian small-clawed otters could be the answer.
They pose for selfies too!
To our surprise, these tiny animals don’t seem to mind sharing their bathing pool with humans. And if you want to take a self while at the pool, these 11 pounds of pure adorableness pose so well for photographs.
In an interview with Bored Panda, the CEO of Barn Hill Preserve, John “Gabe” Ligon, spoke about these heartwarming once in a lifetime experience:
“We are a federally licensed facility in Ethel, Louisiana. Our otter swims are a very limited experience as we don’t provide many. The swim experience includes a tour of the preserve, which includes African servals, red kangaroos, and a climate-controlled sloth exhibit.”
An otter swim and tour costs $154 per person.
Although the price might be high, the package includes a tour to the preserve, up-close interaction with other critters, including lynx, pythons and armadillos, and the adorable moment with the fun-sized otters.
Ligon also talked Bored Panda through the otter swim experience, saying:
“Guests enter the pool, and the otters are introduced for playtime. If they want to play with enrichment toys on the deck, that’s their choice. Our otters are never forced to do anything, the entire experience is completely positive.”
“Our otters on exhibit have a large behind the scenes privacy house that allows them to enter any time they aren’t feeling social.”
The Asian small-clawed otter inhabits mangrove swamps and freshwater wetlands in the South and Southeast Asia. They live in extended family groups with only the alpha pair breeding; ‘offspring from previous years help to raise the young.’
Due to continuous habitat loss, water pollution, and hunting in some regions, these otter species have been listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.