"The otter was shredding, caught a couple of nice waves."
Grand Theft Otter
A vexatious female sea otter has garnered a reputation for harassing surfers in Santa Cruz, California — and even jacking their surfboards to hang ten.
Things have gone so out of hand, the New York Times reports, that a team from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Monterey Bay Aquarium are now on the prowl, looking to apprehend and rehome the offending five-year-old otter, which has been dubbed Otter 841.
It's a precarious situation, as California sea otters are an endangered species. Their numbers have dwindled significantly as humans moved into the area along the state's central coast.
Fortunately, there are still 3,000 of them hanging around, some of which still call busy beaches frequented by surfers their home.
Not Like the Otters
Otter 841's mother was orphaned and raised in captivity, according to the report, but once she was released, humans started feeding her, causing her to climb on top of kayaks. A local wildlife vet care center took her in, only to find out that she was pregnant. She later gave birth to Otter 841, which was later moved to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The trouble started when 841's fear of humans disappeared quickly.
"After one year of being in the wild without issue, we started receiving reports of her interactions with surfers, kayakers and paddle boarders," Monterey Bay Aquarium sea otter program manager Jessica Fujii told the NYT.
"We do not know why this started," she added. "We have no evidence that she was fed. But it has persisted in the summers for the last couple of years."
Since then surfers have reported abandoning their surfboards after the notorious sea otter climbed on top of them, ripping them to shreds with its powerful jaw. They may look cute, but sea otters can easily crush through clams — and potentially your fingers as well.
At least surfers are rewarded with quite a sight after giving up their boards. As it turns out, 841 happens to be a killer surfer.
"The otter was shredding, caught a couple of nice waves," one surfer told the NYT.
More on Monterey: Drone Video Captures Furious Battle Between Orcas and Gray Whales
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