— -- It turns out zoos across the country are quite competitive, especially when it comes to who has the cutest animals.
Zoos and aquariums from Washington, D.C., to San Diego and Seattle are duking it out on Twitter with their fuzziest, fluffiest, cuddliest animal photos, using the hashtag #CuteAnimalTweetOff, and the internet can't get enough.
The paw-sitively paw-dorable competition began after the Smithsonian's National Zoo tweeted this precious photo of its newborn seal to announce its birth.
Without missing a beat, Sarah Hill, a radio host from Norfolk, Virginia, tweeted to her beloved Virginia Aquarium that the ball was in its court to up the ante on the cuteness factor, thus instigating the Twitter battle.
The aquarium boldly accepted.
The competition between the two was fierce and fast.
"Yep, I instigated the hashtag," Hill proudly told ABC News. "The National Zoo tweeted out a picture of their adorable new seal pup, and I thought, 'Oh, we have cuter seals than that here in Virginia.' So I tweeted it to our aquarium, and they ran with it. Then everyone else jumped on board because, really, who could turn down a cute critter competition?"
Other zoos and aquariums across America noticed and wanted in on the adorable action, blowing up people's Twitter feeds with their most exotic, endearing animal pictures.
"I am absolutely overwhelmed by the response," said Hill. "It's so wonderful to take back Twitter for something positive. I thought maybe two or three zoos and/or aquariums would respond, but wow. I'm getting Twitter notifications from zoos around the world showing off their adorable residents. Best day ever."
The animal enthusiast said she hopes the #CuteAnimalTweetOff encourages people to "support their local animal conservation, rescue and rehabilitation organizations."
And no, she's not sorry that her taunting tweet has spiraled into a movement that has collectively caused productivity to drop at workplaces around the world.
"I mean, look how happy it's making people," she said.