The Aquarium posted a photo of an otter named Abby, describing her with language the Aquarium says originated in African-American culture. The tweet, with the caption "Abby is a thicc girl. What an absolute unit. She chonk," garnered plenty of likes and a lot of backlash.
The terms are commonly used throughout the internet in memes and on social media, but many users criticized the tweet for fat shaming. Some also said the tweet compares black women to animals.
The aquarium later tweeted an apology, admitting the memes had connotations the people who wrote the original Tweet were not aware of.
Hey everyone. It has come to our attention that some of the references in this tweet are problematic and insensitive. We're posting here in the thread so that people who have engaged with this tweet will join us in our learning moment. 1/4— Monterey Bay Aquarium (@MontereyAq) December 19, 2018
Abby the otter serves as a surrogate mother to otter pups at the aquarium.