Newborn Otter At Monterey Bay Aquarium: Wild Animal Gives Birth In California

December 26, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

A newborn otter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is making headlines because her birth was a surprise to staff members and visitors alike. The young otter is a major hit especially with children, who say it is cuteness overload.

Newborn otter Monterey Bay Aquarium Pictures

A newborn otter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is being called “the cutest and furriest thing ever.” The staff at Monterey Bay Aquarium located in Monterey, California received an early Christmas gift in the shape of an adorable pup.

According to a post shared on Monterey Bay Aquarium’s official website, last week, animal experts noticed that a female otter was lounging near and in the pool more often than usual. They assumed that the otter was ill because it is rare for healthy sea otters to stay so long in the water.

Last Sunday, they understood what was going on – the otter had given birth, (the gestation period in otters is about 60 to 86 days). Since arriving at the aquarium, the newborn has become a star with its pictures shared on Facebook and Twitter. Aquarium staff wrote in an online blog:

As you probably know by now, a wild baby sea otter was born this morning in our Great Tide Pool! For the last several days, a wild female sea otter had been using the protected basin of our Great Tide Pool to rest from the winter storms. Last night, just as the Aquarium closed, she was spotted once again slinking into the pool for some shut-eye. It’s rare for a healthy sea otter to visit the pool so frequently—we started to wonder if she was doing all right.
Well, mystery solved! 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!
In steady waves, Aquarium staff, volunteers, and then the days’ visitors made their way to the back deck to watch a conservation success story taking place—and become fluffier in front of their eyes. Not that long ago, sea otters were hunted to near extinction. Maybe 50 were left in all of California by the early 1800’s. But now, thanks to legislative protection and a change of heart toward these furriest of sea creatures, the otter population has rebounded to steady levels in the Monterey Bay, and with 3,000 total in central California.

In another post, an employee explained:

“Not that long ago, sea otters were hunted to near extinction. Maybe 50 were left in all of California by the early 1800’s. But now…the otter population has rebounded to steady levels in the Monterey Bay, and with 3,000 total in central California.”

The newborn pup is being cared for by the bitch (female otter), and it spends its days playing with dogs (male otters). After one month, the pup will start to leave its family and after two months, it will be able to swim and hold its breath underwater. Otters can live up to 16 years, and they are by nature playful and their primary source of food is fish.

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