Long Beach's Star Otter

The Aquarium of the Pacific's own Brook turns 17 with a special treat.

Every animal who has played a piano or danced to a kazoo or worn a jaunty pair of sunglasses or chased his own tail knows this cold, cold fact: Viral superstardom typically only visits once, if at all.

In fact, you don't need to be furry or have four legs to know this is true. But one Southern California has bested that trend, and in the cutest way possible. The Aquarium of the Pacific's own Brook the otter has reached for the click-and-aww heights twice, once portraying a lightsaber-wielding Jedi, and once by gazing at herself in a looking glass.

Remember the whole "otter in the mirror" thing? Where cute-seeking internet denizens lost their collective cool? Yeah, that was Brook.

We pay tribute to the aquatic mammal this month because the webby-footed wonder turned 17, an impressive age. It's more than impressive, though. "She is the oldest female Southern Sea Otter under zoological care in the world."

Discovered as an orphan in San Francisco Bay in 1997, Brook packed her proverbial bags and moved down to Long Beach and the brand-new Aquarium of the Pacific in 1998.

"Brook doesn't show her age at all," reads the blog of the aquarium's husbandry volunteer Hugh. "(S)he is able to stand ramrod straight on her hindlegs," no small feat, thanks in large part to her "excellent veterinary care." The blog goes onto say that Brook "remembers and performs all her trained behaviors perfectly when asked."

And she mentors younger pups, too.

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Yep, that's just the kind of big-hearted, smart-brained superstar who deserves a little viral love twice over. Want to see more from Brook's birthday on May 20, her famous "otter in the mirror" photo, and the snapshot of her wielding a lightsaber?

Click here.

That lightsaber one is Photoshopped, right? Or are we dealing with the universe's first Jedi otter? There is a new "Star Wars" film due. Hmm.

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