Sea what I can do! Nellie the otter shows off her cup-stacking skills


Clever girl: Nellie the sea otter takes cups from her handler to stack

If you're going to teach an animal a new trick, it might as well be one that will come in handy.
So the zoo keepers at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium had the right idea when they taught Nellie the sea otter how to clear up after herself.
In a video posted to YouTube, staff at the Tacoma, Washington zoo show how the creature has learned to stack cups.

Making waves: Nellie takes three cups and puzzles out how to stack them

Balancing on her back, the otter takes three cups from one of her handlers and plops them inside each other using her paws and mouth.
The handler cheers her on - yelling 'good!' after each successful stacking attempt - before repeating the task several times.

Getting there: Nellie lives at Point Defiance Zoo in Washington state

When the smallest cup is put inside the largest, she figures out another one should fit in between and empties the whole lot out to start again.
The trick is part of her enrichment exercises and shows otters' willingness to be trained.

Relaxing: She leans back in the water as she stacks them on her belly

Impressed? She shows off the cups - part of her enrichment - to the camera

She may have a friend nearby - Abra, a fellow otter - but Nellie needs no help to stack the three plastic cups.
At the end of the video, which has been viewed more than 485,000 times, she looks at the camera to show off her handiwork.
Otters are fast problem solvers, and use their trickery to catch food in the wild. Zoos have found they can solve puzzles and memory tasks for treats.
Nellie performs her tricks for audiences at Point Defiance, and will feature in the zoo's Sea Otter Awareness Day on September 23.

source: dailymail