Five Marine Mammal Center volunteers came to the aid of an apparently abandoned newborn sea otter pup Saturday, Sept. 5. The rescue happened late Saturday afternoon on the beach two pullouts north of Pico Creek.
The tiny female pup was taken to the Sea Otter Rescue and Conservation division of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a state-of-the-art otter rehabilitation program designed to train the pups to be adult otters that can survive in the wild. Once the pup is fully stabilized and acclimated, a surrogate-mom otter female will be assigned to help “raise” the baby — in about eight weeks.
The pup might have been born the same day it was rescued, officials said.
According to Laura Scherr, marine-mammal center spokesperson, volunteers who went out to rescue the pup included: Margaret “P.J.” Webb, Zach Hoffman, Steve Johnson, Susan Trip and Rod Helm. Some of them have been TMMC rescuers for more than 20 years. Scherr said the entire rescue took less than an hour.
During that time, Hoffman apparently spent about a half-hour in the water with the “baby screeching for mom …. (but) mom never showed,” one of the volunteers said. It’s not known what happened to the mother otter.
A Cambria couple called TMMC’s stranding line (415-289-SEAL) to report the pup’s situation.