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Wild Newborn Otter Pup-Five Months Later

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hugh

Wild Newborn Otter Pup-Five Months Later
Newborn pup in Monterrey Bay last summer.

Hugh's Aquarium Views Video Number 23

I first saw the mother otter with her newborn pup last summer in Monterey Bay. Five months later I ran into the same pair again at the same place in the bay.

Even though there was another otter/pup pair in the area I could tell that this particular mother and pup were the same ones I saw nearly 5 months earlier. How? Well the other pup was only about 8 to 10 weeks old while this pup was at least 16 to 20 weeks old. Having raised 2 orphan otter pups at the Aquarium of the Pacific I could tell by their size and behavior their approximate ages. In fact it made me a bit nostalgic to my surrogate otter “pop” days as Ollie was about the age of the younger otter when I first met her and Gidget was closer to the older pup’s age.

Sea otters learn what’s good to eat by watching their mothers forage. In this case mother otter was being a great role model for her pup. She would bring up mussel for her recently weaned pup to eat. The shellfish was protected by a hard shell so mother otter would bash the mussel on a rock to get to the meat inside. Otters are great at using tools to accomplish a task. By watching this the pup is learning from mom how to use tools to help in foraging.

Check out the video of the pup as a newborn and 5 months later the mother sea otter preparing mussels for lunch.

Wild Newborn Otter Pup-Five Months Later
The same pup seen nearly 5 months later in the same spot in the bay.
Wild Newborn Otter Pup-Five Months Later
Sea otters learn what good to eat by watching their mothers.
Wild Newborn Otter Pup-Five Months Later
Sea Otter pup enjoying its lunch.

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