Scared at first, the baby hid in the kelp for the first three visits, then to everyone’s joy and relief, the surrogate mother and pup bonded.
After being found alone on a beach as a newborn, this otter pup was cared for by the Monterey Bay Aquarium with minimal contact with humans.
When the pup was old enough to eat solid food, she was introduced to a resident otter at the Aquarium. Scared at first, the baby hid in the kelp for the first three visits, then to everyone’s joy and relief, the surrogate mother and pup bonded. See Tula, the resident mother, tow her new child around in a long needed embrace.
Tula has nursed and raised several rescued pups, teaching them how to groom, hunt, and play. She is a resident at the Monterey aquarium because she has an illness that is only curable with daily medications and so can not be returned safely to the wild. Her presence in the aquarium is a blessing to orphaned otter pups who wouldn’t otherwise learn the skills they need to live in the wild.
Before she could be introduced to an adult otter, this pup had to be nursed by humans and fed formula. In order to prevent her from bonding with a human face, the care taker wears a mask as they groom and feed the baby. Once she is old enough the care takers stop all interaction and only permit otter to otter interaction for better transition into the wild. But here is a ridiculously cute grooming session with the baby otter. Voice – over by Katie.
Read the whole story of this otter rescue here.
Safety tips also found at this site advise that we never touch or move an injured, sick, or stranded marine animal. Report it to the Marine Mammal Center at
Interacting with wild animals no matter how willing they might be puts the animal at risk as it teaches them to approach human civilization. Please don’t improvise, or try to help if you are not trained. Call a specialist.