FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A South Florida bride got the wedding proposal of a lifetime with a little help from a North American river otter at the Museum of Discovery and Science.
It all started when Aliza Ben-Arie and her boyfriend Judah Beilin went to visit the river otters at the museum's Play exhibit.
Aliza, currently a student at NYU, is a huge fan of the exhibit and visits the otters every time she's back in South Florida to visit her family.
Last week, when she and her boyfriend went to visit the otters, little did she know Judah had spent the last 30 days planning a special marriage proposal at the Otters at Play exhibit with the assistance of Museum staff.
When Aliza and Judah arrived at around 10:00 a.m., they quickly headed to the Otters at Play exhibit so they could watch the otters enter the exhibit for the start of their day.
But there was a surprise waiting for her. Instead of four three-foot-long river otters, she saw the museum's 6-foot-tall "river otter" mascot named Joey enter the habitat holding a large sign that said "Aliza, Will you marry me?"
Judah then quickly pulled out the ring case, dropped to his knee and asked Aliza to marry him. She immediately said "yes" and he slipped the ring on her finger. Visitors who witnessed the proposal broke into applause.
As part of the special experience Judah had planned, he and Aliza were given a behind-the-scenes private tour of the otters sleeping quarters by the otter keeper, Staci Stafford, and got to meet the real otters.
Judah also generously made a $100 donation in Aliza's name to the Museum's Otter Fund, which supports the upkeep of the animals.
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