Monday, December 21, 2015

Cuteness Overload

Monterey is a small seaside city along the Central Coast of California.  It is a beautiful place, as most of the Central Coast is, and is quite the environmental sanctuary for both local plants and animals, including the sea otter.  The sea otter's population worldwide was near extinction (due to the fur trade) up until quite recently.  Conservation efforts have helped keep the otters afloat, so to speak, but they are still considered threatened in California.  Which is why this weekend's new arrival is so exciting.
From Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium, a main attraction in Monterey, had a wild otter visit its tide pools just a few days ago.  The aquarium's staff were a bit concerned about her because of her length of stay and her behavior.  However, they had nothing to worry about.  The otter gave birth yesterday morning to a tiny otter pup.  They've been posting videos and photos of mama and baby since.  I just can't get enough of these two!!! 
They have since left the aquarium's borders and have floated out to sea.  They are such interesting creatures.  If you have a few minutes (or hours) the videos are quite informative.  Thank goodness it's winter break, I don't feel nearly as guilty wasting time like this when I'm on break.


  1. Awww... that's a sweet photo!

    I'm quite torn when it comes to some critters. While I can admit how cute they look here, their cousins - river otters - are quite a nuisance in my area. We grew catfish commercially for a short time and found otters and pelicans to be great problems.

    I will stop now before I say anything that makes you hate me! ;)

    1. While I understand the nuisance that you mention, I do not believe the sea otters are considered a nuisance along the central coast. In fact, they are said to have a large impact on the ecosystem, in a positive way. Since they have been endangered for quite some time, the residents have been championing them. So you can look at these guys and still think they are cute, while remaining loyal to your dislike of river otters. :)

  2. Did you visit Clint on your way.
    I may be wrong but I seem to remembe reading that the sea otter eat abalone as a good chunk of their diet. This was a issue with the fishermen that harvested the snails and so attacked the otter they saw stealing their livelihood.
    I'm delighted they are making a comeback. They were almost gone back in the 50s and but for a bunch of tree huggers that scene wouldn't be available to you.
    Lovely shot.

    1. I know, isn't it great that they've repopulated themselves over time? It does show that having some environmental intervention can have a positive impact. I had not realized their status as an umbrella species. Their survival helps other plants and animals survive.
      Clint, as in Eastwood? Nah, he'd not be on my list of stars to visit. ;).

    2. Yep, isn't Carmel up thata ways.

      I was racking my brain about those otters and I think I saw something on the TV and then read in the National Geographic. It seems they act like gardeners. They keep things in check.
      I seem to remember reading that the Abalone was near obliterated for mother-o-pearl too.
      Have a good trip.