The recent news from the Monterey Bay Aquarium that Toola, “the most important animal in the aquarium’s sea otter program,” had died was certainly sad (the 28-year-old otter passed away due to “natural causes and infirmities of age.” But her legacy was great; legislation protecting our sea otters was inspired by Toola, who served as a surrogate mom to pups without parents. It’s a reminder that the institution is not simply about delighting visitors with tanks teeming with colorful fish; there are, if you’ll excuse our cheekiness, bigger fish to fry, or, in aquarium’s case, to save with important legislation and vocal support.

To read more from NBC Bay Area about Toola or the jellyfish exhibit, click here for the full article.

Each week NBC Bay Area will provide Red Tricycle readers with the inside scoop on a special destination that’s always “Worth the Drive.” NBC Bay Area uncovers and connects their users to all that the city has to offer so they can be true city insiders. They go beyond the obvious and provide access to untold stories and the stories behind the stories.