Lifestyle Pets Make Your Dream of Swimming with Baby Otters Come True Nurtured by Nature is a California non-profit whose otter encounters fund programs for children with terminal illnesses By Kelli Bender Kelli Bender Kelli Bender is the Pets Editor for PEOPLE Digital and PEOPLE magazine. She has been with the PEOPLE brand for more than eight years, working as a writer/producer across PEOPLE's Lifestyle, Features, and Entertainment verticals before taking on her current role. Kelli is also an editor on PEOPLE's Stories to Make You Smile and serves as an editorial lead on PEOPLE's World's Cutest Rescue Dog Contest and Pet Product Awards. Before joining PEOPLE, Kelli helped AOL and Whalerock launch a pet lifestyle site called PawNation. She is a pet parent to a cat named Wallace, and her professional and personal devotion to animals has taken her to three dog weddings ... so far. People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 21, 2016 09:13 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Nurtured by Nature is all about turning wishes into reality. At this California non-profit you can feed a sloth, relax with a kangaroo and get to know an armadillo. But perhaps the most magical encounter they offer is the chance to swim with baby otters. No longer do you have to stand at the other side of the glass, looking in. Now, you can pay to swim with a group of Asian small-clawed otters, who are all eager to have a big buddy to play with in the pool. All of the animals at the facility are either part of a conservation program, surplus from zoos who couldn’t care for them or rescues from the wild. Need a little inspiration? Click here to subscribe to the Daily Smile Newsletter for uplifting, feel-good stories that brighten up your inbox The best part of this encounter, aside from the oodles of otter kisses, is that your experience helps pave the way for children in need to experience the same joy. Along with using their profits to care for their animals, Nurtured by Nature uses their funds to invite children with terminal illnesses to enjoy the beauty and excitement of wildlife up close and free of charge. Not surprisingly, the otter encounters for this year are already booked up, but 2017 has openings!