A wild sea otter that swam into Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Great Tidepool gave birth Saturday to a healthy otter pup, according to aquarium staff.
The mother and baby are doing well and were caught on the aquarium’s Otter Cam cuddling and grooming. The pup weighs just a couple pounds, staff said.
Wild sea animals are able to gain entry to the Great Tidepool because it serves as an outflow for the aquarium's sea water. Staff often use the pool during underwater explorer classes.
The otter and its pup will not be tagged or kept at the aquarium because they are wild. The furry pair are free to swim back into the ocean from the tidepool whenever they please.
This is not the first time a pregnant sea otter has swum into the aquarium to give birth. In fact, it happened just two years ago, and schools of fish and other sea critters have been known to come with the tide, staff said.
Trainers have theorized that pregnant sea otters may seek refuge at the pool because it is quieter and less populated than its vast oceanic counterpart.
The sea otters that live in the aquarium are all rescues that are unable to survive in the wild, according to the aquarium website.