Sea Otter Steals Surfer’s Board, Bites It Furiously, Cements Local Status at Steamer Lane
‘The otters have gone rogue.’
This might be the most Santa Cruz video ever.
The location (Steamer Lane), the wetsuit (bright Buell), the otter (testy) and a formidable amount of kelp.
A video posted today from the north end of Monterey Bay shows local man Nick Ericksen confronted with an odd situation. On a tiny but clean day at the Lane, a pregnant otter has taken up residence on his soft-top and refuses to be evicted. She either wants to join in on this surfing boom, or even the otters are not immune to California’s stupidly-high housing market.
After a couple of halfhearted splashes and chirps from the boys on the cliff, Nick gives the board a few wiggles in an attempt to dislodge the soon-to-be mother. The otter, in between biting chunks out of the board, snaps at him, then dives into the water multiple times to scare off her aggressor.
After several minutes, a bypassing logger eventually helps maneuver Nick’s/the otter’s board away from the angry mammal, allowing Nick to escape another part of the marine food chain.
Sea otters, while common in Santa Cruz, once roamed freely across the west coast of North America. Before hunters started seeking their pelts in the mid-1700s, it’s estimated that between 150,000 and 300,000 otters thrived in coastal waters from Japan to Mexico. Today, scientists believe only 3,000 are stealing boards from California and Mexico.
A recent study from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this year concluded that sea otters could be reintroduced into the animal’s historic habitats from San Francisco Bay into Oregon. Might we see more instances of true locals enforcing their territory in a few years?
“That’s a weekly occurrence at the Lane this year,” Santa Cruz ace lensman Ryan “Chachi” Craig said on the post. “The otters have gone rogue.”
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