Sea Otter Smiles

Sea Otter Smiles

Sea Otter Smiles

These sea otters look like they are smiling!  We saw them during a pontoon boat tour at Moss Landing, California (at the north end of Monterey Bay).  Sightings on the 3 hour ride into Elkhorn Slough included 74 sea otters, 94 harbor seals, 392 sea lions, and 30 species of birds!  A few of the sea otters had pups, including one that was nursing.  Seagulls always hang around the otters, hoping to snatch a snack.  A link to the boat tour  is at:  http://www.elkhornslough.com/   A live sea otter cam is at:  http://seaotters.com/live/   A video about the sea otter population and Monterey Bay Aquarium’s role in it at Elkhorn Slough is at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvfFsC165CY

Mother and Baby Sea Otters Sleeping

Mother and Baby Sea Otters Sleeping

These sea otters were sleeping together at Moss Landing (the baby is on the left, and the mother is on the right).  Sea otters have the world’s densest fur, with over a million hairs per square inch! 

Sea Otter Saying “Prayers”

Sea Otter "Saying Prayers"

Sea Otter “Saying Prayers”

This sea otter looks like it is saying prayers!  Actually the otter is rolling in the water to keep clean, and to trap air bubbles in its fur for warmth.  Sea otters spend up to half of their day grooming!

Sea Otter Eating an Innkeeper Worm

Sea Otter Eating an Innkeeper Worm

Sea Otter Eating an Innkeeper Worm

This sea otter is eating an Innkeeper worm (known locally as a weenie worm).  The worm looks remarkably like a hot dog!  A sea otter floats on its back and uses its stomach like a table.  Sometimes a sea otter uses a rock to crack open tough shells.  When diving, sea otters store food in skin folds under their legs while they continue to hunt.

Sea Otters at Moss Landing Marina

Sea Otters at Moss Landing

This picture shows a pair of sea otters at Moss Landing.  The marina is at the entrance to Elkhorn Slough – one of California’s largest tidal salt marshes.  You can watch live sea otter cams at Elkhorn Sough at:  http://www.elkhornslough.org/ottercam/

Sea Otters HD Video

Sea otters are so cute – they are like floating teddy bears!  We took this video at Moss Landing, California (north of Monterey).

Our Best Sea Otter Picture

Sea Otter

Sea Otter

Our best sea otter picture was previously an e-card for the National Wildlife Federation from 2011-13.  This classic picture of a female otter is one of our all-time favorites!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Otters Kit and Mae

Sea Otters Kit (left) and Mae (right)

Baby Sea Otter Kit

In January 2010, a 5-week-old baby sea otter was seen crying and trying to climb on mother sea otters at Morro Bay.  The abandoned baby sea otter was rescued by staff at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  In February 2010, baby Kit became the youngest sea otter every put on display at the aquarium. 

Kit was paired with a foster mother named Mae.  Although Mae had never been a mother before, she instantly bonded with the pup.  Mae slept, ate, and played with her new companion.  Kit mimicked everything Mae did, including sucking her left paw while she sleeps!  Now Kit is grown up and has joined Mae in being a companion for other rescued sea otters.

Here is a link to a livecam view of the sea otter exhibit:

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals-and-experiences/live-web-cams/sea-otter-cam

Here is a link to Kit and other sea otter stories at the aquarium:

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals-and-experiences/exhibits/sea-otters

UPDATE:  Mae passed away in November 2012.  A news story is at:  http://montereybayaquarium.tumblr.com/post/36080292879/mae-first-otter-to-raise-a-pup-on-exhibit-dies

%d bloggers like this: