Adults Can Swim with Tiny Otters at This Animal Preserve | 22 Words

If you find yourself in Louisiana on a trip, or maybe you live there and are looking for different to do this weekend, why not swim with otters?

Louisiana is known for its jazz music, its soul food, and now... well for its otter swimming.

Barn Hill Preserve, a federally licensed facility in Ethel Louisiana is home to a range of wild animals.

Aside from the Asian small-clawed otters, they've got red kangaroos and sloths!

Once you've seen the pictures, you'll agree it's well worth a visit.

How cute are these otters?

The Asian small-clawed otters are actually the tiniest breed of otter in the world.

Otters love a good swim.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

In the wild otters love nothing more than plunging into swampy waters, rivers, lakes, whatever cool water they can get their little webbed claws on.

Anyone for a swim?

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

Surprisingly these otters don't seem to have any problem with sharing their bathing pool with the paying public.

Selfie time.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

These adorable tiny otters are so comfortable with their swimming buddies they've been known to pose for photographs. Aw.

After a long day at the office...

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

Why not come and chill with your chilled-out pals and forget all about it?

Heck, take the whole gang along!

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

If you're tired of spending your weekend in the same bar with your pals, and you're thinking to yourself, "surely there's more to life than this..." you're right there is... you could be swimming with otters.

This guy is feeling the love.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

It's hard to feel sad when you're singled out by the otters as someone they want to chill with. Just look at the way they all seemed to have magnetized to this guy!

Apparently otter swimming lasts one hour.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

The dude that runs Barn Hill Preserve, CEO John “Gabe" Ligon, spoke to Bored Panda about the ins and outs of the once in a lifetime experience.

An otter swim and tour costs $154

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

Now that might seem like a lot but these swims are in high demand.

"Our otter swims are a very limited experience as we don’t provide many."

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

Ligon explained that to ensure the safety and comfort of the otters they do not offer loads of public swims. Each week they offer a couple of otter swims and for the rest of the time, the otters have the pool to themselves.

The otters are Barn Hill Preserve's priority.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

Ligon talked BP through the otter swim experience, saying: "Guests enter the pool, and the otters are introduced for playtime. If they want to play with enrichment toys on the deck, that’s their choice. Our otters are never forced to do anything, the entire experience is completely positive."

This particular breed of otters is endangered.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

Sadly the Asian small-clawed otter has struggled to maintain it's natural habitat (freshwater wetlands in the South and Southeast Asia) due to huntings and issues surrounding pollution.

The Asian small-clawed otters are on currently on the red list.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

In a study carried out by IUCN, these tiny cute otters have been put on the red list marked as "vulnerable."

The guys over at Barn Hill Preserve are working hard to fix that.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

The hardworking staff and volunteers at Barn Hill Preserve aren't about to see these cute Asian small-clawed otters die out. Which is why they home so many of them in their preserve and are increasing the number bred each year.

The otters get a lot of privacy.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

Barn Hill Preserve, CEO, John Ligon stressed the point that the otters are not being commodified by the swimming. He wants to make people understand that away from the rare swims with the public the otters have a lot of private time. He explained: "Our otters on exhibit have a large behind the scenes privacy house that allows them to enter any time they aren’t feeling social."

Barn Hill Preserve also strives to educate the local community.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

The company runs programmes and classes to teach the local public about the animals living in their area and to raise awareness about issues surrounding habitat and animal extinction.

There's no denying the hard work put in by those working at Barn Hill.

From the staff, keepers, educators, and trainers, everyone that's part of the Barn Hill team strives to do everything they can for animals in their care.

Isn't it a bit like swimming with dolphins?

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

I mean we all know swimming in dolphins is wrong now, right? Some concerned Facebook users were suggesting that otter swimming is just as bad as dolphin swimming...

"Human interaction with wild animals is not okay."

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

This experience offered by Barn Hill Preserve certainly has divided people.

Some people are totally there for otter swimming.

via: Facebook/ Barn Hill Preserve

According to one Facebook user, her time spent swimming with the otters was the best day of her life.

Ignore the haters.

It seems people who had actually visited Barn Hill could appreciate all the good work that the guys at the Preserve do. Those that have actually seen the otter swimming in action understood that there was nothing but good coming out of that place. Personally, I think the otter swimming seems perfectly chill and nothing like dolphin cruelty. Continue scrolling to learn about how bad places like SeaWorld are...