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Happy World Otter Day!

southern sea otter.JPG
Posted at 7:19 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 01:48:01-04

It's World Otter Day! A day that was developed to recognize the role these animals play in the ecosystem and raise awareness about conservation efforts.

There are estimated to be around 3,000 sea otters that live along the coast of California between Half Moon Bay and Santa Barbara.

The population used to be much larger, but commercial hunting of the animals starting in the 1700s reduced their numbers significantly.

Southern sea otters are now listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Morro Bay and the Elkhorn Slough in Monterey County are two spots along the coast that have seen a resurgence of the sea otter population.

Southern sea otters are now a common sight in Morro Bay.

According to the conservation organization Sea Otter Savvy, recent surveys have counted more than 40 otters inside Morro Bay Harbor.

A couple of good otter-viewing spots in Morro Bay include the South T-Pier and near Morro Rock at the end of the Harbor Walk.