Monterey Bay Aquarium apologizes for “insensitive” tweet about a “thicc” sea otter

Written by on December 20, 2018 in Critters vs Humans vs Critters - No comments

It was meant in good fun.

A tweet about a chubby sea otter with an eye to becoming a thing on the internet. It did, but for all the wrong reasons.

Instead, California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium was left apologizing for “problematic and insensitive” post about an otter named Abby.

Here’s the original tweet.

(It has been retweeted almost 10,000 times and liked another 35,000 times.)

The combination of apparent otter body shaming and use of African American Vernacular English proved too troublesome too ignore.

The term “thicc” has been used to describe a curvy woman. That is, fat in all the right places.

The next day, the aquarium apologized and explained.

While some people applauded the facility, others thought the apology was unnecessary.

But about Abby.

Abby likes to play with artificial kelp, take ice baths and eat frozen treats, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

She was rescued as a newborn on July 21, 2007 by the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Rescue Center and was hand-raised at SeaWorld San Diego, according to the aquarium.

She moved to Monterey Bay in 2012, weighing in at 44 pounds and went on to become a surrogate mother to other sea otter pups.

That weight, by the way, is in the mid-range for female sea otters, according to most marine mammal facilities.

So Abby is just right.

Abby likes being touched on the head, chest and back, the aquarium said. Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium

And, back to the original tweet.

Way to go, Abby!

Abby is largely oblivious to the controversy. Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Photo Monterey Bay Aquarium/Twitter

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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