There’s no love like a mother’s love – no matter the species.
That was certainly apparent in the small beach community of Morro Bay in the aftermath of a commercial fisherman discovering a baby sea otter, completely alone.
Officials believed the otters had been separated due to heavy storms and resulting tidal waves. The pup was only around two days old, The Tribune reported.
According to a 2018 report from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the once declining sea otter population has been thriving. In 2018, California had over 3,100 sea otters – enough for otters to be considered for de-listing under the Endangered Species Act.
So, how would one go about finding one out of the thousands of water-dwelling creatures? Local wildlife officials and harbor patrol had it covered.
Boating from one group of sea otters to the next, the reunification team played a recording of the pup’s cries on a Bluetooth speaker off the boat. Research shows that sea otter pups and their mothers cry out when separated in order to find one another.
Their tactic proved successful. After passing a few otters, a female otter began showing signs of interest and acknowledgement to the broadcasted cries.
“[The female otter] quite quickly started vocalizing back and approaching the boat,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife Senior Environmental Scientist Mike Harris told The Tribune.
Harris and his team decided the best tactic in order to not spook the presumed mother would be to gently toss the pup to her – with net in hand in case she didn’t react.
Within seconds of the pup’s return to the water, the mother surfaced and cradled her beloved baby.
But it wasn’t just the otters celebrating their sweet reunion, video posted by the City of Morro Bay of the pup’s return has been viewed over 400,000 times.