The Monterey Bay Aquarium has made such a comfortable space for their animals, creatures are actually breaking into the aquarium rather than trying to get out. A couple of years ago, right around Christmas time, Monterey, CA, was experiencing winter storms. An employee at the aquarium spotted a wild female sea otter swimming around in the great tide pool. Apparently, since the pool is connected to Monterey Bay, it’s not that unusual that wild otters will wander in from time to time. They usually leave after a day or two, but this little lady stuck around, even after the weather cleared. The aquarium staff was getting worried that she was sick until they spotted her one morning cleaning a new pup! The clever girl decided the tide pool was the safest place to have her baby, and the pair became local celebrities.
The birth was a good sign of the success of California’s conservation efforts. In the 1700s, the sea otter population in the area was about 15,000, but by the early 1900’s only about 50 were left. Thanks to efforts over the last 30 years by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other conservation organizations, the current sea otter population has ticked back up to about 3,000. That’s a big improvement!
Sea otter mamas stay with their pups for up to a year, constantly grooming and feeding them. Healthy adult females typically have one pup per year, for a total of 15-20 pups in their lifetime. And I thought I was tired!
You can follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium on their blog, their website, and on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. You can also learn more about sea otter conservation efforts on the Sea Otter Savvy website.