The Great Tide Pool at Monterey Bay Aquarium isn’t just a pretty sight, but a refuge for wild animals seeking shelter from storms that bring rough seas and harsh conditions. The most common visitor to this tide pool is the southern sea otter.
The southern sea otter is also known as the California sea otter. Since 1977, this species has been listed as endangered mostly due to their vulnerability to oil spills from passing coastal tanker traffic. The southern sea otter is a fully protected marine mammal under California State law. Back in December, we shared a story of a wild sea otter birth in the tide pool. In early March, a storm brought in another expectant mother.
Guests and aquarium visitors had a special opportunity to observe the event from the aquarium’s exterior deck. The rainy day made no difference to the hundreds of people who stood by the railings to watch nature at its very best. Luckily, an experienced aquarium staff member had his phone ready and broadcast the birth live on Periscope. If you missed it, you can watch a recording of the broadcast right here.
Monterey Bay Aquarium has been open since 1984 and welcomes around 2 million guests every year. The coastal location of the aquarium gives marine experts a unique opportunity to witness amazing events like this birth and other behaviors of the local marine wildlife. While the aquarium does not disturb any wild visitors, the southern sea otter will likely leave on her own to forage for food and begin teaching her pup important lessons.