Wildlife Officials Issue Alert After Mysterious Situation Occurs


Wildlife officials in California are advising surfers to avoid a particularly aggressive otter off Santa Cruz. She’s been trying to steal surfboards. This specific female is one they know personally and it looks like they’re going to need to haul her in for an attitude adjustment. Hopefully, her future will include a board of her own.

Otter wants a surf board

Surfers, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife warns, need to be aware that an otter was “exhibiting concerning and unusual behavior.” They signed out an arrest warrant by approving “the sea creature’s capture.

Members of the state’s fish and wildlife and the Monterey Bay Aquarium are working to take her into custody. Local surfers have been lodging irate complaints over damaged boards and aggressive assaults.

Wildlife experts claim to be “bewildered and worried” but it’s obvious that the otter wants a surf board of her own. She doesn’t quite understand the concept of property laws, though.

There’s a video making waves on Twitter that shows the playful mammal “forcefully ripping a surfboard away from a young man who was paddling in the water off the Santa Cruz shore.” There’s another set of photos showing the critter “lounging on top of another surfboard.

The otter was also accused of intimidating a woman on surfboard and acting aggressively. The videographer who captured the scuffle filled reporters in a little. “It was a true wrestling match over this surfboard,” Mark Woodward relates. “And the person finally got it away and it was damaged.

Basically, the board was destroyed. Literally the day before, I filmed the surfer that got so freaked out by it that he left his board and swam back to shore without it.

They can get that way

As explained by San Jose State University marine professor David Ebert, her behavior isn’t all that unusual because the animals are “actually pretty aggressive. They’re not as cute and cuddly as people tend to think.

They happen to know this specific otter and think that she started stealing surfboards for kicks because of “possible hormonal surges or due to humans feeding her.” Boardjacking surfers is a new one though. She’s “exhibiting concerning and unusual behavior.

The 5-year-old surfing otter was born in captivity “under very unusual circumstances after her mother was removed from the wild for flashing aggressive behavior.” Mom apparently set a bad example.

She gave birth to the pup in captivity and cared for it until weaning, at which time the pup was released to the wild and the mom was transferred to a facility for long-term care,” biologist Colleen Young reports.

As soon as they can get her in a net the veterinary staff at the Monterey Bay Aquarium will check the otter out. She hasn’t harmed anyone so isn’t in any trouble. Until they get her in custody they’re warning surfers to avoid her and advise: “Enter the water at your own risk.

If they do end up keeping her in captivity, hopefully they’ll be smart enough to give her an otter proof surf board of her very own.