• Kyodo


The oldest aquarium-born sea otter in Japan celebrated her 21st birthday Wednesday, in an event highlighted by a colorfully decorated cake made of ice given to her at an Osaka aquarium.

Having reached an age thought to be equivalent to over 80 human years, the sea otter, Pata, was handed the cake at a poolside by visitors chosen for the event at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, where she has spent her whole life.

Pata then returned to the water and ate the cake while floating. The birthday gift — a special version of the ice blocks she receives every day as a treat — had “icing” on top which was shaped like a fish and a heart, and brightly colored in green, orange, yellow and blue.

Visitors at the event also cheered and took photos to mark the occasion. Pata is the oldest of the 12 sea otters kept at aquariums in Japan, which had been home to 122 of the northern species in the mid-1990s.

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