SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KRON) — Santa Cruz’s wild browsing sea otter has attracted many followers with its mischievous pirate-esque ardour for stealing surfboards. The fuzzy longboard larcenist was photographed swimming as much as surfers, commandeering surfboards, and even catching a number of waves.
Wildlife officers tried catching the 5-year-old sea otter earlier this week close to Steamer Lane. The crew launched a ship, positioned a board as bait within the water, and deployed a decoy surfer. The savvy sea otter didn’t fall for it and he or she eluded seize.
The ocean otter’s followers grew involved and requested KRON4, why are wildlife officers making an attempt to pluck a wild sea otter out of its ocean dwelling?
On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched a press release explaining why officers need to take the otter into captivity.
The 5-year-old feminine southern sea otter is “exhibiting regarding and weird behaviors in Santa Cruz, California, together with repeatedly approaching surfers and kayakers. This particular person has been aggressively approaching individuals and biting surfboards,” USFWS wrote.
The USFWS approved the seize of the ocean otter after hazing strategies didn’t cease the otter’s surfboard antics.
“As a result of potential public security danger, a group from (California Division of Fish & Wildlife) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium skilled within the seize and dealing with of sea otters has tried seize of the ocean otter when situations have been favorable since July 2. Normal strategies for capturing wholesome wild sea otters have been unusable or ineffective to date due poor underwater visibility, the ocean otter’s wariness of nets from earlier seize makes an attempt, and the ocean otter’s behavioral patterns various from everyday. Scientists recommend profitable seize might take days or even weeks given logistical issues, the ocean otter’s habits, and shifting environmental situations,” USFWS wrote.
Colleen Younger, an environmental scientist and sea otter biologist with CDFW, defined, “The standard methodology for safely capturing wholesome, wild sea otters is a clandestine underwater method. On this case, nevertheless, the water has usually been too murky for us to see the animal from under. We’re adapting different seize strategies to this case.”
The otter is tagged with a radio transmitter and is being actively monitored by biologists.
As of Friday morning, the ocean otter was nonetheless wild and free within the open ocean. “She’s one sensible little otter,” stated native photographer Mark Woodward, who documented the browsing sea otter for a number of weeks.
If the browsing sea otter is apprehended, she is going to bear a well being evaluation on the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and finally, she shall be rehomed in captivity, wildlife officers stated.
Euthanasia and different deadly strategies should not into consideration, in line with USFWS.
“The purpose is the secure seize of this feminine sea otter to take away the potential public security danger, whereas additionally recognizing and acknowledging the vital position sea otters play in coastal ecosystems alongside the Central California coast,” stated Lilian Carswell, Southern Sea Otter Restoration and Marine Conservation Coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
USFWS, CDFW, MBA, and Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums will work collectively to search out her a long-term dwelling in a zoo or aquarium.
Sea otters are naturally cautious of individuals. Why is the browsing sea otter so fearless?
Jess Fujii, sea otter program supervisor with Monterey Bay Aquarium, defined, “Whereas the precise trigger for this sea otter’s habits is unknown, aggressive habits in feminine southern sea otters could also be related to hormonal surges, or on account of being fed by people.”
Sea otters serve a basic position within the ecological well being of nearshore ecosystems, in line with USFWS. Their presence within the ocean enhances biodiversity, will increase carbon sequestration by kelp and seagrass, and makes the ecosystem extra resilient.