Photo from Monterrey Bay Aquarium
Just before Christmas, this writer googled and searched YouTube (this is a good report) for hours on end looking for information and updates on a wild sea otter who swam into the open Great Tide Pool at one of her FAVORITE places in the country: the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. On December 20, word leaked out that this female who had been spending nights in the peaceful waters just off the Pacific Ocean was spotted floating with a newborn pup resting on her belly. The Monterrey Bay Aquarium Tumblr writer described the discovery like this:
Around 8:30 a.m., Aquarium staff witnessed a BRAND NEW pup resting on her belly, being furiously groomed by a proud momma. We’re talking umbilical-chord-still-attached, whoa-is-that-yep-that’s-the-placenta new-born otter pup!
This newborn was celebrated at the aquarium as if he or she was one of the institution’s own. There has been a herculean effort in California to revive the sea otter from the brink of extinction, and this little guy is proof that the conservation efforts have been successful so far. Momma otter stuck around the tide pool for a couple days, and the staff at the aquarium put together this lovely video with soft, clarinet jazz:
Since Christmas, mom and pup have been spotted in the tide pool – they are always welcome to visit – and in the kelp fields getting some rest from the rough waters of the open ocean. As these creatures are wild, the aquarium staff will not intervene unless needed, and thus far, they’ve been left alone. However, workers, volunteers and guests have been charmed by this momma otter and her obvious maternal instincts toward her newborn.
Really, does learning from nature get any better than this?