Although Star Trek may not be able to compete with Star Wars in terms of number of cute alien species it features — Star Wars definitely has the cuteness market cornered with everything from Ewoks to Yoda — the original television series did have at least one kind of insanely cute creature: Tribbles. And what made Tribbles so freaking adorable, aside from being literal fluff balls that liked to hide away in various ship compartments, was their squeaks and their squeals. Squeaks and squeals that are reproduced perfectly by an insanely cute real-life animal: the baby otter.
In some recent videos that were recorded at the SCS Foundation in Thailand (which were recently reported on by Laughing Squid), viewers are treated to two examples of what could reasonably be considered the cutest creatures alive: baby otters. And even though they may not feed or reproduce like Tribbles — that would be an otter-worldly experience — they do rival them in straight snuggle factor, as well as squeak- and squeal-ability.
But, as much as we may want to make these baby otters a part of our lives — bring them home and snuggle them until our vocabularies melt into nonsensical puddles of “wuddly buggle snugs” and “little snoogly squeeze-em-oodles,” the exact reason the SCS Foundation exists is to keep wild animals like these baby otters away from individuals who want to make them pets.
The SCS mission statement, roughly translated into English, states:
“We believe it is a repulsive act [to] wrest… pups from their mothers for a human [to] play with them until they get bored. We believe in a world in which an animal does not belong to anyone… But above all we believe that any wild animal has enough instinct to be reintroduced [and] released [into the wild]. Because we firmly believe that it is better [that] animals (if healthy) try to survive in the wild after captivity, rather than leaving them prisoners for life in a center.”
And in some non-trivial way, this statement is reflective of the Federation’s Prime Directive. Ideally, we want to interfere with other species as little as possible; whether they be extraterrestrial, or baby otter. Although maybe one caveat could be made for the occasional snuggle — at least to help the otters rehabilitate before they’re sent back out into the wild. And because they’re so freaking cute, look at those little scrudly-umptious faces in the below bonus video, must snuggle them right now!
What do you think about these baby otters and their Tribble-ness? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images: Frank Cuesta, Paramount Television