Over the years we've featured a lot of sea otters from California's Monterey Bay area, including Elkhorn Slough, where sea otter and harbor seal pupping season is currently in full swing! The Monterey Herald writes:
“It’s pretty magical,” said marine biologist Giancarlo Thomae, who helps conduct several daily excursions through the wetlands aboard a 17-foot pontoon boat with a company called Elkhorn Slough Safari. “The weather has been beautiful and there’s a lot of activity in the slough right now. Just about two minutes after we leave the dock, we’re going to see hundreds of harbor seals and lots of sea otters with their pups.”
Birthing season for seals and otters will be near its peak over the next three weeks, enlivening a hideaway that serves as both a resting area and a playground for wildlife.
Thomae and boat captain Yohn Giddeon counted 53 sea otters on Tuesday alone (and lots more harbor seals) and there are currently about five newborn pups regularly seen in the slough.
Locals and visitors can take boat or kayak tours of the wetlands, but please keep your distance from the wildlife. The Herald again:
[T]oo much traffic in the slough will make the mothers more likely to abandon the pups, which usually results in the death of the pup. Thomae also warns that there are strict federal guidelines in place to protect the wildlife in the slough. Anybody caught harassing a marine animal can face a fine of up to $10,000.
Photo by Giancarlo Thomae, Moss Landing, March 2015