today was a sad day. While these pictures look adorable, they are not as they seem. I was at the harbor seal rookery watching over another sad unfurling of events (see yesterday's post) when I ran into another nature photographer that I know and he said that there was a dead otter pup off the Coast Guard jetty. After talking with him, i realized it was probably the Mom and pup pair that I had been watching for the past couple of weeks. i had not named the Mom because she is not tagged nor does she have any noticeable scar on her nose. But the pup had been doing well and was active although I have been busy with the harbor seal rookery the couple of days. The photographer said he had just seen the Mom and pup yesterday and the pup was alive and seeming going well.
Then a fellow Bay Net volunteer rode by on her bike and said that the Mom and pup were still in view, so I put Liberty in the truck and we headed over.
I could not see any obvious wounds and other than the pup looking ungroomed, you might not have noticed it was dead until the Mom would let go of it to groom herself. Then you could tell that something was not right, The Mom is still carrying the pup around. I watched her grooming it and moving it further away as some divers came close. She is wrapping herself and pup in seaweed like she would do if it were still alive to keep them in the same area while she sleeps.
Moms have been known to carry the pups around for days sometimes. Harbor seals do this as well as we say when M&M had a pup that was still born. At some point she will accept that her baby is gone. She will soon probably go back in estrous and will mate again. Hopefully she will have success the next time because as you can see she is a very caring Mom.