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Researchers have provided a surprising explanation for the behavior of the otter known as “California’s angriest” and why she has recently become more calm.
The infamous sea otter 841, notorious for causing fear among surfers along the California shoreline, was recently seen with a small newborn pup.
Professional photographer Mark Woodward, the otter’s most committed reporter of her mischievous activities, announced the good news on his X account that 841 had given birth.
In a post, he wrote that he was amazed by the news. He had a feeling that she might be pregnant because of her growing belly.
“I saw her three days ago, but prior to today. She is a bit distant, but based on my perspective, the mother and puppy are both doing well.”
The birth of the pup was officially confirmed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in a statement released on Thursday.
The organization stated that they were unable to verify if the otter had been expecting without catching the creature for an assessment.
They now think that the aggressive behavior towards the kayakers and surfers may have been caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy.
The otter, who was five years old, became known as the “most aggressive otter in California” when videos surfaced of her attacking surfers and biting their boards in Santa Cruz.
The Wildlife Service stated that they attempted to apprehend the agitated otter and relocate her to a zoo or aquarium to ensure the safety of both the otter and the public.
However, all efforts to catch the otter were not successful – and fans of 841 were delighted to witness it.
A group of online supporters interested in staying updated on her life while on the move expanded, resulting in the creation of t-shirts and tote bags in solidarity with the impassioned animal.
After becoming a mother, she appears to have stopped her habit of stealing surfboards and has been observed relaxing with her new baby.
Officials have stated that they do not intend to capture the otter and her pup, now that she has given birth and appears to be content.
Instead, they will observe her actions from afar.
It is uncertain if her actions will change once more.
According to the local news source, the otter has previously given birth two times. Her first offspring survived, but unfortunately her second one, born in the spring, did not.
Merely four months after being observed with one of her other offspring, 841 was witnessed engaging in her usual antics.
Although it is believed that pregnancy hormones may have contributed to her angry behavior, her followers online caution that human interaction may also aggravate the situation.
According to Mr. Woodward’s statement to the Los Angeles Times, he observed multiple individuals operating boats and kayaks who were bothering the otter by approaching her too closely. This could have caused her distress and put her safety at risk.
There is heightened worry that the newfound popularity of sea otter number 841 could draw in additional tourists wanting to view the recent offspring – a time when it is vital to maintain a safe distance, particularly since the otter is now searching for food for two.
He stated on X that if individuals wish to view the infant, they should do so from cliffs near West Cliff Drive instead of the shoreline.
The US Fish and Wildlife Department advises individuals interested in observing otters to maintain a distance of at least 60 feet. Failure to do so could potentially put the new baby otter’s safety at risk.
It has been reported by authorities that sea otters lack energy reserves similar to whales or seals. As a result, they must constantly search for food, which makes up 20 to 30 percent of their body weight, in order to maintain their energy levels. This is especially important for mothers with young offspring, as their energy should not be depleted by interactions with humans.
Sea otters are safeguarded by the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and California state legislation.
Breaking the rules could result in a penalty of up to $100,000 or imprisonment for a period of one year.