After a month off from counting the Southern California Sea Otters at Elkhorn Slough with the Reserve Otter Monitoring Project (ROMP), today was a great one. Inbetween count times, ROMP citizen scientist count the otters and harbor seals and a couple other things every thirty minutes for two hours, i got this picture of an otter. Funny but I was focused on trying to get what she was eating and did not realize until i got home and looked at photos on my computer that she was eating and pooping, all in one photo. I have seen the scat many times on land in some of the areas where we do counts and the otters regularly haul out. But this was my first experience seeing it in real time.
When i was sharing this photo with one of our team leaders, he said this is the otter that he believes was going through the converts and then getting locked out of crossing back over when those culverts closed taler. She would then cross the road in the same spot that a male was killed a couple of years ago. For awhile, if she was spotted across the road in the river area, a mass text was sent out to volunteers to come take turns watching her and helping her get across the road if needed with all the cars going down the road. He said they had tried some aversion therapy with her. It seems to be working as I have not had a text in several months about her. I made a joke that he scared the POOP out of her, lol.