In December a female sea otter took up temporary residence in Monterey Bay Aquarium's Great Tide Pool lagoon and while her presence had aquarium staff a little worried, the reason for her long stay soon became apparent. She visited in order to give birth to a pup.
Now, over the weekend, another female sea otter gave birth just outside the aquarium. It happened in full view of workers who managed to get incredible, and rare, footage of the entire process.
"It’s not every day you get to watch a sea otter pup come into the world!" the aquarium wrote on a Facebook post. "Our sea otter researchers have been watching wild otters for years and have never seen a birth close up like this. We’re amazed and awed to have had a chance to witness this Monterey Bay conservation success story first hand in our own backyard."
If you get queasy easily, you might not want to watch. But if seeing the miracle of birth doesn't bother you, here is the footage:
The aquarium writes, "Sea otters can give birth in water or on land. You’ll notice that mom starts grooming her pup right away to help it stay warm and buoyant—a well-groomed sea otter pup is so buoyant it’s practically unsinkable! Grooming also helps get the blood flowing and other internal systems revved up for a career of chomping on invertebrates and keeping nearshore ecosystems, like the kelp forests in Monterey Bay, and the eel grass at Elkhorn Slough, healthy."
Perhaps word has gotten out about just how pleasant the aquarium's surrounding coastline is for new mothers. We certainly hope so because getting to witness the birth of a new member of an endangered species is always an amazing and inspiring experience.