Keep This Precocious, Surfboard-Riding Sea Otter Safe!
A sea otter known as “841” in Santa Cruz, California has clearly had it with humans interfering in her natural habitat. The precocious, personality-filled animal has become famous in recent weeks for riding on surfboards, even stealing a few from surfers.
No humans have been harmed in the process. But authorities have labelled 841 as “aggressive,” which could put her at risk of danger.
The coastal waters of the West Coast were once filled with sea otters. Then humans began hunting them nearly to the point of extinction, skinning them and using their furs as clothing. Today, sea otters are considered threatened, living in only 13% of their historic range, with much smaller populations.
According to experts, this sea otter’s level of comfort with commandeering surfers’ boards could be due to too much previous interaction with humans. That’s why it’s so important to never feed wild animals, and to always give them their space.
Local authorities have said they intend to educate the public about wildlife safety and relocate 841 to a new, more remote home. But we all know that many things could go wrong in that process.