Aquarium Apologizes For Calling Otter ‘Thicc’ In Viral Tweet After Backlash

An aquarium in California has apologized after sharing a picture of one of its otters on Twitter with a caption calling it “thicc” and “an absolute unit”.

The original tweet about Abby the otter from the Monterey Bay Aquarium has been liked nearly 20,000 times since it was posted on Tuesday evening and the overwhelming number of responses have been positive.

The tweet picks up on a variety of online slang which has become popular in recent years.

The term “thicc” has come into use as a positive description of curvy body types, while “absolute unit” is often used to jokingly describe large people or animals.

“Chonk” and “OH LAWD SHE COMIN” both refer to a comedic sizing chart for cats which went viral over the summer.

Here’s the cat chart.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium went on to explain Abby’s important role.

Other Twitter users responded with praise or their own jokes. And a few prodigious pets.

The Oregon Zoo even sent a kiss from one of their otters.

And the Oakland Zoo thought big otters were best.

But others appeared concerned about the impact of using African-American slang to describe animals, prompting the aquarium to apologize for “connotations we were unaware of until now”.

The aquarium stated:

“If our tweet alienated you, please know that we offer our sincerest apologies.”

“In particular, several terms referenced originated from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) and specifically reference black women’s bodies.”

“Using them in a sea otter meme without that background makes insinuations we never intended. We need to do better.”

The aquarium added:

“Our mission is to inspire conservation of the ocean, and we’re thankful for your support as we try to advance that mission on social media.”

“We’re also thankful for those of you out there pointing out our blind spots and how we can improve.”