Every year on World Otter Day, animal lovers celebrate playful and furry otters across the globe.
Communities and organisations relish the opportunity to educate people about the creatures and fundraise for related worthy causes.
The International Otter Survival Fund also gives impactful individuals £100 World Otter Day grants.
So, what is World Otter Day, when is it, and what are some of the other days dedicated to cute animals?
Here are some of the key details around this awareness day.
Otters are a conservation success story 🙌
The species almost became extinct in the 1950's, before bouncing back after toxic agricultural chemicals were banned from waterways.
Now, every county in the UK has a wild otter population! #WorldOtterDay pic.twitter.com/sT8GnIQaDP
— WWT (@WWTworldwide) May 31, 2023
What is World Otter Day, and when is it celebrated?
World Otter Day aims to raise awareness about otters and promote their conservation.
It is held annually on the last Wednesday in May (May 31 this year) and involves events and talks focusing on otters’ importance in our ecosystem and the threats they face.
Happy World Otter Day! Otters are playful, intelligent, and social creatures that are found in freshwater and marine habitats around the world. They are an important part of the ecosystem, helping to control populations of fish and other aquatic animals. pic.twitter.com/dnvN0HvdeF
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) May 31, 2023
World Otter Day was created by the International Otter Survival Fund. It is organised by various conservation organisations, zoos, and otter advocacy groups worldwide.
Activities and events typically include educational programmes, community outreach, social media campaigns, art competitions, fundraising initiatives, and field trips to observe otters in their natural habitats or in captive settings.
As our impact on our planet continues to damage our seas and natural environments, otters are struggling to cope with the consequences of oil spills and water pollution. They can also become entangled in fishing gear and be injured by boats.
— Miriam Sahli (@MiriamSahli) May 31, 2023
There is also the issue of hunting. While there are several laws that try to limit the hunting of otters, they still fall victim to hunters who want their fur.
People also share their favourite otter photos or fun facts on social media on World Otter Day.
It's #WorldOtterDay! These incredible mustelids have the densest fur of any animal — up to a million hairs per square inch 🦦
📸 1/4: Giant otters raise their heads out of a Surinamese creek. (National Geographic Image Collection/Bates Littlehales) pic.twitter.com/9ukRxznW5P
— National Geographic TV (@NatGeoTV) May 31, 2023
What are some other cute animal celebration days?
January 5: National Bird Day
January 14: National Dress Up Your Pet Day
January 20: Penguin Awareness Day
January 21: Squirrel Appreciation Day
February 2: Groundhog Day
February 20: National Love Your Pet Day
February 22: National Wildlife Day
February 27: National Polar Bear Day
— Lewis Pugh Foundation (@LewisPughFDN) May 31, 2023
March 1: National Pig Day
March 23: National Puppy Day
March 23: Cuddly Kitten Day
April 30: National Pet Parents Day
April 30: Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
May 23: World Turtle Day
June 15: National Lobster Day
July 9: Cow Appreciation Day
July 16: Guinea Pig Awareness Day
September 22: Elephant Appreciation Day
September 25: International Rabbit Day
October 4: World Animal Day
December 15: Monkey Day