We arrive as the sea otter feeding is about to begin; two aquarium employees bring buckets of food to toss to the waiting otters. Tim and I are standing outside a plexiglass window with an expansive view of the otter’s enclosure. As we watch the otters gulp their food a volunteer informs us that only the finest quality seafood is fed to these marine mammals; the aquarium spends $13,000 a year to feed each otter. They eat better than we do. In addition, otters at the Oregon Coast Aquarium have their own doctors on staff and they may live for 20 years. How about that - they have better health care than we do too.
Sea otters have about 1 million hairs per square inch of body surface and spend most of their time keeping that fur impeccably groomed. Even though wild otters spend their entire lives in the rugged sea their skin never gets wet. Unfortunately for the otters they were hunted to the brink of extinction for their warm and waterproof pelts.
|Sea Otter - Internet Photo|
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a mixture of indoor and outdoor exhibits arranged attractively on the grounds. Among the indoor exhibits, we toured Deep Sea Passages; a walkway over and under the water leads you through this ocean experience. We also viewed the tide pool, jellyfish and swampland exhibits.
The outdoor avian exhibit hosted pigeon guillemots, tufted puffins, oystercatchers and common murres. It was great to walk right up - no tanks or cages - and watch the birds swimming and diving.
|A budding Van Gogh displays his talents.|
|A Newport Harbor Scene.|
To learn more about the city of Newport, visit this website: http://discovernewport.com/