offshorebirder

Show us your Otters

57 posts in this topic

@@Tom Kellie we were very lucky. it was our first visit to the park and we went very early. we heard dogs barking away and join a photographer standing there. then he pointed out the otters to us.

 

when we returned for a second time, they had closed off that part of the park. apparently, all the busloads of tourists and some singaporeans had disturb a fair bit of wildlife there and the park decided to close off those areas. Sad for us, but glad for the wildlife.

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@@Tom Kellie we were very lucky. it was our first visit to the park and we went very early. we heard dogs barking away and join a photographer standing there. then he pointed out the otters to us.

 

when we returned for a second time, they had closed off that part of the park. apparently, all the busloads of tourists and some singaporeans had disturb a fair bit of wildlife there and the park decided to close off those areas. Sad for us, but glad for the wildlife.

 

~ @Kitsafari:

 

That was considerate of the photographer to point out the otters. I truly miss the courteous, thoughtful behavior of most Singaporeans.

The last time I was in Sungei Buloh, it was on my 60th birthday, as I'd flown to Singapore to photograph Varanus salvator on my birthday.

Two older Singaporean photographers on a remote Sungei Buloh walking path very kindly pointed out to me a resting saltwater crocodile which I would have otherwise overlooked.

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Crocodylus porosus at Sungei Buloh, Singapore, on 4 November, 2013

At the Sungei Buloh information desk I met a teenager from Yunnan, Kunming who is a student at River Valley High School in Boon Lay. Despite the more than four decade age gap, he's become a very good friend, keeping me regularly informed on life in Singapore, with wit and his fine street photography.

Thus Sungei Buloh has positive associations with me. I'm glad to know that smooth otters also like its wetland habitat.

Tom K.

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Posted (edited)

 

Thanks, Tom. This mom had rare twins in February, one of which had to be rescued and is being raised at the Monterey Bay Aquarium http://pointlobos.org/blog/anna-patterson/otter-twins

 

 

Tes and otter pup 696b from last Thursday

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696 has been paired for a few weeks now with surrogate mom, Rosa, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and is doing well too. An older female orphan was brought to the aquarium after 696 was rescued and they've formed a little threesome family.

Edited by Patty
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Thanks, Tom. This mom had rare twins in February, one of which had to be rescued and is being raised at the Monterey Bay Aquarium http://pointlobos.org/blog/anna-patterson/otter-twins

 

 

Tes and otter pup 696b from last Thursday

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696 has been paired for a few weeks now with surrogate mom, Rosa, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and is doing well too. An older female orphan was brought to the aquarium after 696 was rescued and they've formed a little threesome family.

 

~ @@Patty

 

That's really a nice image!

It brings back happy memories of Monterey Bay.

Thank you for updating us on the otters there.

Surely one of California's most beloved species.

Tom K.

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northern California, River Otter

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@@Patty haven't you got some more photos to add here? :)

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A few more from Moss Landing the other day.

 

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Great photos @@Patty.

 

Not long ago I saw a documentary on long-serving surrogate mother Sea Otter who passed away after a long and successful career. The Monterey Aquarium is one of the great institutions of the world.

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So glad you started this otter thread, @offshorebirder2 during sea otter awareness week! This is a rescued sea otter washing his face at the Vancouver aquarium. It's not a great photo like the super ones posted in this thread but I added it because if you go there, you can sign up to do a special otter visit with a marine specialist. It was just 4 of us learning about their habits, seeing the area where they prepare for them, and finally getting to feed them by dropping their special diet into their mouths about 3 feet below.

 

If you ever want to do this, reserve far in advance. They allow children 8 and up.

 

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Finally from Elkhorn Slough, a few Sea Otter pictures. Photography was a bit of a challenge for the otters, as the captain was very careful to maintain a good distance from the otters so as not to disturb them.



This animal was tagged - apparently any otter that is rehabilitated is tagged to be able to track.



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And a baby hitching a ride from mom.



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Some napping/relaxing otters from Moss Landing (aka Elkhorn Slough) this morning.

 

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Here's a cape clawless otter out the front of our house in South Africa. We have a small spruit (creek) there and we sometimes find evidence of otters eating crabs there.

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~ @@Patty

 

Thank you for posting such lovely otter images.

Both you and @@Zubbie15 have reinvigorated this thread.

It's been decades since I last observed any otter anywhere, so these images are especially appreciated.

You've also taught me something.

I never knew that Moss Landing was also called Elkhorn Slough.

Tom K.

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@@Tom Kellie, Elkhorn Slough is the name of the estuary and national reserve. From Moss Landing you can rent a kayak and paddle up the slough. There are also boat tours. There are hiking trails within the national reserve portion of the slough that can be accessed from the inland side. The rafts of otters are usually very close to the small parking lot at the end of Jetty Road at Moss Landing State Beach (on the estuary side).

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Posted (edited)

A wild otter gave birth in the Monterey Bay Aquarium's tidepool during opening hours last weekend. They've posted videos of the live birth as well as the mom and pup https://www.facebook.com/montereybayaquarium/videos This is the third wild otter that has come into the aquarium's tidepool which is open to Monterey Bay to give birth. The last one was this past December which was also stormy like last weekend. I went to the aquarium to try and catch a glimpse on Tuesday but alas she and her pup had already left though I did spot a mom with a very young pup just offshore that may have been the same pair. While I was at the aquarium I took their otter tour for the first time which allows you to go behind the scenes and view the SORAC facilities. There are currently 5 adult female otters at the aquarium with a rotation of 3 on display so only 2 can act as surrogates at a time. We were shown all of the current orphans including 696 who is ready to be released soon on a video monitor as they limit their human contact.

Edited by Patty
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~ @@Patty

 

Thank you for telling us about the otter birth at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

A question, if you don't mind.

Does the behind-the-scenes otter tour require reservations? Is there an additional fee?

Of the animal visitor centers I've seen in the United States, the Monterey Bay Aquarium ranks up at the top.

Tom K.

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Posted (edited)

@@Tom Kellie, yes the hour long tour is an additional $15 and requires reservations. Half of that time is spent viewing the otters on display and looking for wild otters from the aquarium deck. The rest is spent behind the scenes. They take 8 people per tour and we were lucky to book the last two spots on the afternoon tour when we arrived at the aquarium at 10:00am. It was a relatively quiet Tuesday so I'd advise reserving farther in advance. You're allowed to take photos and I took ones of the orphans and their surrogates in their tanks on the video monitor but was asked not to share them publicly.

Edited by Patty
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~ @@Patty

 

This sounds like a great activity, providing a deeper layer to the overall experience of visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Thank you so much for providing these details, which might encourage Safaritalk members and visitors to reserve a place in the otter tour, if they ever pass through Central California.

That female otters will serve as surrogate mothers is yet another example of the flexibility that animals often bring to raising orphaned infants.

Such an educational activity is like a safari, providing first-hand face-to-face experience with aspects of the natural world. That's truly cool!

With Appreciation,

Tom K.

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A Sea Otter amongst the sea-ice, Valdez, Alaska

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These guys created a mini "otter jam" at Point Lobos today.

 

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The March 31st edition of the Monterey County Weekly has an interesting cover article on the otters that inhabit Elkhorn Slough http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/eedition/

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Very nice @@Patty - thanks for sharing. When I lived in CA I used to love visiting Point Lobos and adjacent Garrapata State Park.

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Thanks @@offshorebirder. I try to go to Point Lobos weekly and love hiking in Sobranes Canyon.

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When I lived in CA I used to love visiting Point Lobos and adjacent Garrapata State Park.

 

 

I try to go to Point Lobos weekly and love hiking in Sobranes Canyon.

 

Sadly both are currently closed and Sobranes Canyon is on fire right now :(

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Today's otters at Moss Landing. The otters that inhabit the slough don't go into the open ocean. This is also the only area where hauling out on the beach has been observed.

 

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A mom and juvenile

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Mom and younger pup

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When mom went looking for mussels, the curious juvenile came by to check out the pup

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Mom didn't like that

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The juvenile was undeterred and returned to the pup several times each time with the mom chasing it away but not terribly aggressively. Later all 4 otters were hanging out together.

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