Freshwater otter plays piano

Dua, an Asian small-clawed otter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, plays the piano as a behind-the-scenes enrichment. This activity was created to give Dua something interesting to do and extend his feeding time, while showing off his species dexterity. You can learn more by visiting

Freshwater otter plays piano sentiment_very_dissatisfied 56

Pets & Animals 14 years ago 295,517 views

Dua, an Asian small-clawed otter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, plays the piano as a behind-the-scenes enrichment. This activity was created to give Dua something interesting to do and extend his feeding time, while showing off his species dexterity. You can learn more by visiting

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Most popular comments
for Freshwater otter plays piano

HawklordLI - 9 years ago
He 'otter be' pretty good by now. Nyuk! Nyuk!
Angel-chan - 12 years ago
Play 'em off, Keyboard Otter. :3
BobBarkerIsAGod - 12 years ago
how dumb, i can play so much better, and i dont need treats every 5 seconds
ThistleFist - 12 years ago
A musician starving for his art.
coasttocoast15 - 12 years ago
@sports89man7 i actually lol'd really hard at this. great point, sportsman.
Mike Belcourt
Mike Belcourt - 12 years ago
Crikey, that otter is better than me at piano o.O
James West
James West - 12 years ago
Eaglefly124 - 12 years ago
This could be made into a CD called "Otter Jazz" and proceeds from the sale could go toward otter-related conservation efforts...
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium - 13 years ago
This was created as a behind-the-scenes “enrichment.” Our husbandry staff created this activity to give Dua something interesting to do, extend his feeding time and make use of his incredible dexterity. The goal is to keep the animals healthy and stimulated!

10. comment for Freshwater otter plays piano

Tommy Smitbag
Tommy Smitbag - 13 years ago
@ouchlasers to be fair he's an otter
greenie2600 - 13 years ago
That's not a piano.
Shirley McGreal
Shirley McGreal - 13 years ago
Dua is living at IPPL in Summerville SC and now has a retired zoo girl as his mate, she is named Bubbins! They're a cute couple but we don't have a piano!
XxAfroCoreBassxX - 13 years ago
Amazing. True skills cept i wish they would stop feeding him while he played, still it was cool
helmholtz - 13 years ago
Meng. Instead of steadily breaking his Concentration let the Maestero finally get to Playing!^^
Charlie Giles
Charlie Giles - 13 years ago
Those are the cutest paws I've ever seen!! xDD
Garlannd NameLast
Garlannd NameLast - 13 years ago
When you guys produce Mozotter let me know.
saberwing - 13 years ago
the otter would probably only do it if he got food.
Mush Respect
Mush Respect - 13 years ago
it would be nice if he was left to play for longer than 2 seconds
pixledemon - 14 years ago
Thats one jazzy otter.

20. comment for Freshwater otter plays piano

221b - 14 years ago
Stop interrupting it! Every time it started to get a groove on the handler would distract it with food.
A. Gomes
A. Gomes - 14 years ago
i am sad that they are not in the wild but THe aquarium is simply helping the animals they already have. Its better for them to have a good life then be hunted to extinction for their coats like the otters of san diegp. :(
itsthekeri - 14 years ago
Conditioning at its best!
sleekweasel - 14 years ago
This animal isn't native to the US, so it seems unlikely that it's for release: The piano playing makes use of this species of otter's natural food-finding habits - they fumble around in the mud in rice paddies for things like crayfish with their sensitive fingers. I can't comment on how much fun the animal has doing it, or whether it just likes being fed, but it's obviously not distressed or injured by the game, which is a variant of its natural behaviour.
sleekweasel - 14 years ago
You're unlikely to have seen this species of otter in the bay - this is an Asian Small Claw otter, and they normally live in rice paddies where they use their sensitive paws to find things to eat in the mud with the same sort of motions he was using to 'play' the keyboard. This species is very active during the day and most folks find them very cute, so they're commonly displayed in otter exhibits. The sea otters would be better with maracas or something percussive - they bang clams on stones.
areitu - 14 years ago
It's to keep them from getting bored
Katelyn - 14 years ago
Aw!!!! He's (or she) is soo cute!!!! But I really don't understand the meaning of it. Teaching an otter how to play the piano was a cute idea but I really don't understand how pressing keys on a plasic little piano is going to help it in the wild. It's not like in the wild it'll get a treat afterwards.
Valkyrio - 14 years ago
Cute, except the only reason he's touching the keys is because he knows he'll get food after he does.
dreamynights - 14 years ago
This isnt enrichment, its teaching him a trick. Enrichment would be giving him different toys, foods, sounds or sights he's never seen before and letting them explore these objects themselves. It's not "hey do this and i'll give you a treat!"
HimeNoKuri - 14 years ago
I'm OTTERLY amazed! LOL

30. comment for Freshwater otter plays piano

WCarnation - 14 years ago
Humans are animals. We likely discovered music by noticing things make sounds we like. I'm pretty sure the otter has ears.
motivatedsoda - 14 years ago
move over keyboard cat this is the new internet phenomenon :)
Alexander Hughes
Alexander Hughes - 14 years ago
hello - 14 years ago
poor slave animal
Reinventing the Glial
Reinventing the Glial - 14 years ago
You could possibly get an animal to play longer if each time you would wait ever so slightly longer to give the treat. An animal could get used to the larger increments of playing, and grow to expect to have to play longer. You could get them to play for a minute or minutes, depending on how comfortable they are playing in the itself, because at that point you're testing the limits of their attention span. Don't you want that? PLAY, MR. OTTER!
micafonist - 14 years ago
no skillz
LuisEspinozaMusic - 14 years ago
well its an animal not a human.... he has no idea what music is.... all he wants are those treats... people thinks its cute... ok.... i keep doing this "....."
Terrum - 14 years ago
Can you train an animal to do that..? I don't think so.
Terrum - 14 years ago
omg i got that exact keyboard! :) It's so many years old!!
Cabe565 - 14 years ago
stupid. this otter has no idea what he's doing, it sounds retarded too.
Imperialnews - 14 years ago
have the otter play piano man
meatissodumb - 14 years ago
did he die?
VinillaFarmer - 14 years ago
Andi Delisle
Andi Delisle - 14 years ago
this is one cool otter :)
Nicholas K Girard
Nicholas K Girard - 14 years ago
Actually this would be donations... not so much tax dollars. Stop throwing that phrase around.
alandlum - 14 years ago
It's "grammar".
Will Tavlin
Will Tavlin - 14 years ago
I went to this aquarium a few years ago, it is really nice
d0r3m1 - 14 years ago
grammar ;)
Amidity - 14 years ago
sumfinunique - 14 years ago
why that tiny space for its hand?? ): looks squeezed..

50. comment for Freshwater otter plays piano

heakboy - 14 years ago
u spelled grammar wrong =.=.
Erazmus B. Dragon
Erazmus B. Dragon - 14 years ago
I don't think anyone would think the otter is playing the piano as a hobby, or at least I would hope nobody would.
TheUndert0ker - 14 years ago
Believe it or not, I'm actually a river otter who has been trained to post redundant comments online.
joycieket - 14 years ago
n0time2spare - 14 years ago
He must be thinking "I love this guy. He gives me food to smack my hands around"
Deebus - 14 years ago
I suggest you do the same. Grammar*
Jarda Karlik
Jarda Karlik - 14 years ago
I dont like this video because it has nothing to do with playing on piano
el Kamilo
el Kamilo - 14 years ago
u guys should just put that piano in there with um and see what genius emirgeses...... yeah i cant spell lol its late n stuff
SystemOnCrack - 14 years ago
did he died?
staphinfection - 14 years ago
He needs to be trained to lift his paws dramatically at the end of his performance...... that's how the pros do it.
Alex Brynhildarson
Alex Brynhildarson - 14 years ago
exactly what i thought xD
Mandalorx10 - 14 years ago
Press key = food
Valbuenium - 14 years ago
Looks so fluffy! :D
fortheloveofLDS - 14 years ago
Aw. Skills. I love otters. c:
KakaDeman - 14 years ago
Enough of suffering animals
Morndenkainen - 14 years ago
actually, the bay aquarium isnt funded from tax dollars, its funded by what it brings in from admissions, research grants, and donations.
StanK27 - 14 years ago
He's getting food for playing the piano.. I think that otter has it pretty good.
Paddy Nesh
Paddy Nesh - 14 years ago
Khalyd Clay
Khalyd Clay - 14 years ago
teaching dogs to sit is wrong whats the matter with you?! haha....
Jason Swihart
Jason Swihart - 14 years ago
Thelonious Mink.
quicsilver - 14 years ago
play a crappy tune on a cheap piano for your master !!!! MUHAAHAHAHAHA......
dechagny - 14 years ago
that's cruel...
Damien Burch
Damien Burch - 14 years ago
uh oh this Otter has more views of his piano playing skills than I do NOT FAIR lol look me up it's called I GOT THE BEAT funny
IWannabeJew - 14 years ago
He should do a duet with the Geico gecko.
marcusunlimited - 14 years ago
The power of Yamaha FM Synthesis UNLOCKED by Otter. First there was Vangelis, then Enya, then Chromaticus, and now there is OTTER!
OIympus - 14 years ago
...poor otter :\
ProgrammerGamer - 14 years ago
really whats wrong with it? you think training animals is cruel?
balderdash707 - 14 years ago
You can't criticize the zoos though, most of the animals there have had their natural habitats nearly destroyed by other people, and would just die if released back into the wild. Nobody is promoting habitat destruction, and these people are just doing their best given the circumstances.
DARKTURTLE06 - 14 years ago
This activity was created to give Dua something interesting to do and extend his feeding time, while showing off his species dexterity. You can learn more by visiting. This is directly from the video description. there is nothing wrong with this.
CaptainLutra - 14 years ago
puddrulesall - 14 years ago
this is crap... he didn't even play in key. 0/5.
piemonster4 - 14 years ago
This is a case of classical conditioning. The otter has learnt that if it hits the keys it gets a treat. Every animal owns this function. It's not special.
Muni Ng
Muni Ng - 14 years ago
OMG STOP FEEDING HIM!! I wasnt to listen to what hes playing!
shouganairu - 14 years ago
Doctor Jack
Doctor Jack - 14 years ago
musicians work on the same principle. THIS OTTER IS A MUSICIAN, HE WORKS FOR HIS FOOD!!!
mikael69yy - 14 years ago
Fantastic !
syzygywell - 14 years ago
wow does he have great toes. way better than my cat.
Creativinity7 - 14 years ago
Would he bite if you didn't have him behind that glass wall?
Anoki Gryphon
Anoki Gryphon - 14 years ago
Sailor Marty
Sailor Marty - 14 years ago
I think that's how they trained him to play in the first place... That's generally how animals are trained (ie, conditioning the animal to get accustomed to getting a food reward for performing a task).
HocoRuco - 14 years ago
The best way to make people excited about conservation is to give them a personal connection to an animal or place. This may strike you as unnatural but if it makes someone go "Oooo how cute. I love otters now and don't want them all to die" then mission accomplished. Also the purpose of enrichment is to stimulate an animal's brain and keep them entertained. Sometimes that isn't possible with natural items only. They can only play with rocks for so long before they get bored.
HocoRuco - 14 years ago
you have to feed it...that's how you train an animal.
Videbimus - 14 years ago
you call that playing? he's just hitting random notes. teach him a song, then i'll be impressed.
Stephen Moseson
Stephen Moseson - 14 years ago
jeez stop feeding him, he just wants to play
Dena Saper
Dena Saper - 14 years ago
Does he do weddings and Bar Mitzvahs?
Fleks Alpha
Fleks Alpha - 14 years ago
if you havent gave her so much food,maybe i could hear the otter actually play,but you were always interrupting with your food
Jessica Saunders
Jessica Saunders - 14 years ago
Cyndi Crawford
Cyndi Crawford - 14 years ago
yeah, that piano sounds *EXACTLY* like a piano I had when I was a kid. it's at least fifteen years and maybe even twenty years old.
Zorn101 - 14 years ago
dose any one know why this otter is in prison ? and is forced to preform for tasty tasty snacks? he has shifty eyes i think its involuntary manslaughter
Aquacoon - 14 years ago
It would have been cool if you were actually letting him play the piano instead of interrupting him every second to give him a treat. Now I question whether he was doing it for fun, or the treats.

100. comment for Freshwater otter plays piano

Domagoj Kučko
Domagoj Kučko - 14 years ago
she is probably doing that because they don't give her and food =D
Peter Langley
Peter Langley - 14 years ago
peterbundy84 - 14 years ago
play him off keyboard cat!
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium - 14 years ago
Thanks for all your comments. Enrichments occur throughout the Aquarium. Theyre designed to stimulate the animals, keep them healthy and active, and encourage interaction with their environments. Institutions throughout the country have similar programs, many of which are required by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The use of man-made objects is common. Its all done with the animals welfare in mind. Though occasionally—as you see here—it can be entertaining as well!
Julie G
Julie G - 14 years ago
Haha the cheesy drum and keyboard old is that thing?? Like 15 years? I love it!
durasf - 14 years ago
I agree. It's just a conditional refflex directly linked to food offering
Nathan Lund
Nathan Lund - 14 years ago
Ahaha. I love this!
TaviRider - 14 years ago
Cute and all, but why is the Monterey Bay Aquarium training otters to play instruments? The mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans. It seems to me they should do so by showing ocean life behaving naturally, not trying to entertain us with animal tricks. Theyre not pets.
terraf0rm - 14 years ago
Xezzy Yeats
Xezzy Yeats - 14 years ago
play him off keyboard cat!
vagyokazsombor - 14 years ago
yeah supacute
cwiqa - 14 years ago
play piano or only press button sounds ?? thats no impress - 14 years ago
Awesome video!
KataVideo - 14 years ago
An otter with a piano bar? wears the tip jar?

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