Otter Success Story

Just a few decades ago, the Southern Sea Otter was thought to be extinct. Their unique and incredibly dense fur was highly prized by the gentry for elegant coats and hats. This desirable quality drove merciless hunting.

Then an unexpected group of about 50 was discovered at Big Sur. This population was protected by the North Pacific Fur Seal Treaty and later by the US Endangered Species Act.

Even with these protections, it required the active support of organizations such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to nurture the few survivors and their descendants into a viable population.

Today with the continuing participation of the Aquarium Otter Program, the species now numbers approximately 3,000 creatures.

It is interesting that when a male fails to find a mate, he becomes a life-long bachelor. At Elkhorn Slough, north of Monterey, California, there is a community of about 50 bachelor otters who live and socialize together. Our video was taken from the breakwater at Moss Landing and catches the bachelors on a typical afternoon.