“Is this natural?” asked the tourist from Israel as he stood next to me and my grandsons, amazed at what he was seeing.
“I mean, are they wild–is this their natural habitat or some preserve?” he added. I replied “Yes, they are wild, and this is where they live.”
We were at the Moss Landing State Beach earlier in the day, and my grandsons were excited to see two sea otters swim past us, very close to the shoreline.
Then on the way home, we stopped to look across the inlet area facing Elkhorn Slough and were delighted to see a congregation of otters…much more excitement!
About 5 minutes after watching the raft of otters…they all swam away. The conference over perhaps….or maybe it was time to forage for food.
Seeing the raft of otters was a nice way to end to our day at the beach, and I am again so happy to live in the Monterey Bay area, with so many opportunities to see wildlife.
During the early part of the 1700’s, the California sea otter population was estimated to number 150,000.
From the mid 1700’s until the early part of 1900, these otters were almost hunted to extinction for their fur.
Today, California sea otters remain endangered with a population of less than 3,000.
For more on sea otters, visit related Lolako.com Post: The sea otter’s one-eyed peak
Adorable Sea Otter video — on the rocks by Monterey Bay wildlife photographer Efren Adalem
and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium website page Sea Otters as Risk
For more on Elkhorn Slough, visit the Elkhorn Slough.org website here. Excerpt:
Dunes and broad stretches of open sandy beach characterize the inner curve of Monterey Bay. The expansive beaches are interrupted only by the outlets of the Pajaro and Salinas Rivers, and the entrance to Elkhorn Slough and Moss Landing Harbor. The protected waters of the slough and its associated mudflats, wetlands, and nearby dunes provide a haven for a wide variety of birds, fish and unusual marine life. This remarkable variety of habitats provides visitors a rare opportunity to explore and discover nature’s secrets.