MNN Galleries

15 fascinating facts about otters

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on Jan. 21, 2020, 2:18 p.m.
Sea otters were trapped for their fur.

Photo: worldswildlifewonders/Shutterstock

12 of 17

A mother's love is groomy

We mentioned that sea otters spend a lot of time grooming themselves. Well for mother sea otters, that job is twice as difficult since she has to groom both herself and her very fluffy pup.

A pup can't groom itself and if the fur gets matted with oils or pollutants, it won't keep the pup's skin dry and warm, and also buoyant. Such a problem as poorly groomed fur is lethal for pups. So, a sea otter mother will spend several hours a day simply on grooming.

It is no easy task, as humans caring for orphaned sea otters have found out. At the Shedd Aquarium, caregivers would go through one and sometimes two wash loads of towels every day for one of their otter pups. These folks know just how hard a mother sea otter works to keep her pup fluffy and clean.