Multiple incidents involving a sea otter off the California coast are creating issues with surfers, and now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is on the case.
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Several videos recently went viral on social media showing an otter climbing on surfboards and trying to steal them away. While the animals may look harmless, they pack a strong bite and sharp teeth.
The incidents have been documented on Instagram by user @NativeSantaCruz. Multiple posts show the caught-on-camera attacks.
In one post, the otter stole the surfboard, and the surfer gave up the fight. A passing boat later retrieved the board.
In the most recent post, the Instagram user says the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fish and Wildlife Service are trying to find the otter.
Non-profit conservation group, Sea Otter Savy, released an additional video warning people to stay away. They believe the otter in question went through the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s rehabilitation process in a quote, “rather unusual way,” and that the animal’s aggressive behavior may be connected to her hormonal cycle.
To make the story even more bizarre, the Los Angeles Times reports that the animal is the offspring of an otter that attacked kayakers five years ago and had to be removed from the wild.
People should avoid the area until wildlife officials can intervene.
There’s no word if the otter involved is the same animal that recently stole a surfer’s surf mat.