If you know me, you know that I have an infinity for all things adorable – especially adorable baby animals. Last year, I closely followed the birth of Bei Bei the panda at the National Zoo. My many hours watching the Panda Cam allowed me watch the growth of panda right before my cyber eyes.
On my most recent trip to Monterey, California I was introduced to another new animal baby who has been making the headlines lately.
On March 5th, a group of lucky visitors and Monterey aquarium staff witnessed a live birth when a pregnant sea otter swam into their tide pool. According to aquarium staff, the mama otter climbed onto a rock around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Unsure if the sea otter was ill or pregnant, everyone kept a watchful eye on her. Within several hours later the contractions began, and visitors prepared to view the miracle of life. What an incredible moment that so few human get to see live. The aquarium gift store attendant told me that she wept during the birth. There are videos online if you want to feel like you were there too!
Four months prior to this awesome surprise, another wild otter gave birth in the very same area. In this case the mama otter spent a few days with her baby, leaving to forage then returning with her pup during during the low-tide to rest.
What is drawing otters to this area? Aquarium staff think that the recent storms, like El Nino, might be driving the sea otters to look for a safer, calmer places to deliver offspring. I wonder the Monterey Aquarium tide pools will turn into be a safe haven for even more sea otter mamas.
I am lucky to have gotten to meet the newest mama and baby. The baby otter is just so… fuzzy and ADORABLE! My friend and I spent at least an hour admiring and photographing the otter family.
Here are my photos of the mama and Jewel (yes, I named her).