Monterey Bay Aquarium's Resident Sea Otter Kit Invents "The Shrimp Game"

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Kit is one of Monterey Bay Aquarium's largest sea otters (Credit: Montereybayaquarium.org)

Most seafood lovers — animal or human — would find it hard to resist a tasty shrimp morsel. However, not Kit, a mischievous sea otter that resides at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium. Rather than gulping down the tiny crustacean, Kit used it as a game piece to play what the aquarium officials dubbed "The Shrimp Game."

In the video, captured by sea otter aquarists Stephany and Jess, the clever otter repeatedly pops out from the holes in the enrichment board — first to "hide" the shrimp and then to "find" it. Kit's fun game takes a surprising twist when fellow otter Ivy gets wind of the "free" food. What happens next has to be seen to be believed!

Kit was just five weeks old when she was found stranded in California's Morro Bay by a biologist in January 2010. The tiny pup was brought to the aquarium and, at just 11 months of age, became the youngest sea otter to go on exhibit. Her caretakers say the smart otter rapidly learned critical survival skills, like cracking open clams and eating live crabs without getting bitten! Kit, who now weighs 50 pounds, is one of the aquarium's largest otters. The talented mammal spends her time taking care of abandoned otter pups and . . . inventing new games!

Resources: montereybayaquarium.org

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