Sea Otter Mom Finds The Perfect Spot To Have Her Baby
This sea otter knew she had to get somewhere safe in the face of rough ocean waters during a storm ... so she could give birth.
On Saturday, a pregnant wild sea otter swam from the ocean into the Great Tide Pool area at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, where she chose to settle upon a rock, giving researchers and visitors alike a rare, front-row look at the birth of an endangered species.
Immediately after the baby otter was born, the mother wasted no time in grooming her pup. The Monterey Bay Aquarium explained that a mother licking her pup helps the baby stay warm and buoyant in the water. Grooming also helps gear up the young otter's blood circulation and other internal systems, showing just how vital it is for a pup to be near his or her mother after birth.
This bit of fabulous news comes shortly after the Monterey Bay Aquarium rescued an orphaned baby otter and gave the pup, unable to care for herself, a new home at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois.
"Not that long ago, southern sea otters were hunted to near extinction, but now, thanks to legislative protection and a change of heart toward these furriest of sea creatures, the otter population in Monterey Bay has rebounded," the aquarium wrote in a Facebook post about Saturday's wild otter birth.
"With the bay in our backyard, we've been fortunate to witness this resurgence firsthand. This mom and pup pair are not part of the Aquarium's Sea Otter Program so they might return to their wild kelp forest home at any time. We're so grateful to have had this incredible firsthand look at their lives."
Watch the beautiful moment this mom welcomes a new life into the world below. (Fair warning, there is actual, graphic childbirth ahead, but tons of cute pampering afterward.)
To learn more about how you can help protect endangered sea otters, check out these useful tips.