Something You Otter Know.

The following video has had over fourteen million hits on YouTube, so I presume that anyone looking at this post has already seen it. Nonetheless, in honor of Sea Otter Awareness Week, I give you a video so cute, it would send a basket of kittens into a jealous rage. Watch it all the way through – the last couple of seconds are worth it.

I’m glad these two have each other. Sea otters can use all of the friends they can get. California Sea Otters used to range far up and down the coast, from the Pacific Northwest to Baja California. Now they exist only in a tiny pocket just south of the San Francisco Bay.

One oil tanker disaster, and it would be curtains for these little guys.

Not that long ago, California Sea Otters were thought to have been hunted to extinction for their fur, but in 1915 a group of naturalists discovered a small raft of otters living along the mouth of Bixby Creek near Big Sur. These scientists kept their discovery a secret for decades, allowing the population of these beautiful creatures to recover a bit. Still, from the hundreds of thousands of otters that used to populate the coastline, now only a couple of thousand remain, and their numbers are constantly threatened by over-fishing and environmental pollution.

These days, sea otters need a week in their name so that humans can be reminded of their existence. But if you have any heart at all, you'll be aware of them for a lot longer.


  1. Omigosh, Jen. I had not seen this. Adorable is not a good enough word. Oh, what we humans could learn from this priceless 101 seconds.

  2. Awww.
    It is sobering to realize that they used to roam free from one end of the Earth to the other.
    I have seen them do this in their little enclosure at the Monteray Bay Aquarium. It is a healing experience to be in their presence.
    Thanks, Ms. Jendo. I will be thinking of them all week, actually, I want to go see them now. Bye!

  3. I have to admit it is adorable, but the audience watching and commenting are annoying to the point of nausea. Okay, not to that point, but if I watch it again I'm turning the sound off.

    Otters have made a comeback and abalone fishing interests blame the comeback on the decline of abalone. However, some biologists claim that the abalone population was never supposed to be as high as it was in the 50s when harvesting took off, and that the otters may be restoring a balance.

    Of course, abalone are so good to eat they have many enemies, including star fish. At one point, abalone fisherman blamed the star fish and started tearing the starfish in half and throwing them back in. Obviously they didn't know about regeneration, but that probably didn't help the fishermen either.

    Nobody wants to discuss whether overfishing with the increase in market interest in abalone simply coincides with the resurgence of otters.

  4. Glad you liked the video, Annie and Laura! Eric, I definitely agree about the cooing noises in the background of the video being super-annoying. I was going to include a disclaimer in my post, but I forgot. Whoops! Still, pretty cute. And I love your story about fishermen tearing apart starfish to "save" the abalone. Classic!