STATES CHRONICLE – John Koester and his wife were celebrating Koester’s birthday in their kayaks when a friendly otter decided to join the party. The Monterey couple decided to spend some time in a slough around Moss Landing, but they never expected an otter to jump into one of their kayaks.
The couple saw the raft of otters first and observed them from a minimum 50-foot-distance, but it looked like it wasn’t far enough. After just a few minutes, one otter started swimming towards Koester’s kayak, and to his surprise, the animal jumped into it.
He said that the otter scratched its ears and belly, rolled around in his boat, nibbled on his shoes, and plopped around the kayak. More precisely, the animal was not just friendly but seemed to feel very comfortable in the presence of a human.
Based on Koester’s estimates, the otter was quite massive as it had minimum 80 pounds. Also, it stayed more than ten minutes in the kayak playing with the man’s shoes and rolling around. Although these animals are usually friendly, they are still predators, meaning that they might represent a threat.
Koester understood that the otter was just friendly, so he didn’t behave as if the animal were domesticated. Instead, he was calm while watching the animal having a good time. Before launching their kayaks on the water, the couple was instructed by the Monterey Bay Kayaks, so they knew what they should do in case an otter jumped into one of their kayaks.
Van Nes and her husband said that during the in-person orientation session, they were taught how to behave in case they came across the bold otters. In other words, Moss Landing officials are aware of the otters which are accustomed to human presence.
According to Gena Bentall from the Sea Otter Savvy conservation group, Moss Landing is a recreation site where people come to contemplate the beauty of nature and relax. Also, many otters live in this place, so visitors encounter them quite often.
Koester and his wife said that they would never forget such an experience because they had the unique opportunity to spend some time in the company of a wild animal.
Image Source: National Geographic