While we were in Morro Bay we had hours of fun watching the sea otters. There is a colony at the foot of Morro Rock near the bend in the entry channel. The anchorage is close by and the still water of the bay was always busy with sea otters going about their business.
Throughout the nineteenth century sea otters were hunted almost to extinction but a small colony of thirty survived at San Luis Obispo. This colony is descended from those survivors and they seem to be thriving in Morro Bay.
The new born pups are covered on thick dark fur and lie on the mother’s chest like a Rastafarian bottle brush. The mothers hold them on with one front leg as they perform a lazy backstroke around the bay.
Other mothers play with their older pups which are still insanely fluffy but have sprouted legs and float around close to their mums mimicking her actions.
They’re very intelligent and are one of the few mammals that use tools; they use a rock to break the shells of clams. They are constantly busy foraging, preening or playing in the weed and kelp which collects around the buoys.
I’m so glad conservation efforts have succeeded and they are recovering their numbers and range along the North Pacific coast.
In my next life I’d like to be reincarnated as a sea otter!