2020—Lasting Impression

Four days on Kachemak Bay near Homer, Alaska watching Northern Sea Otters left a lasting impression on me. Of course the adorable, cuddly, teddy bear of the sea usually comes to mind when one thinks of Sea Otters. They are curious and watched us as much as we watched them giving us lots of opportunity to capture those adorable faces. However, observing mating activity which was to me unexpectedly violent, made me realize that as much as we wish to anthropromorphise Sea Otters and think of them as cuddly and cute, they are, after all wild with behaviors that are wild. During mating, which can last for ten to thirty minutes, otters engage in both playful and aggressive behavior. The male Sea Otter grasps the female’s snout in his teeth and drags her under water. This female looked at us shortly after mating, her nose bloodied and showing the lasting impression of that earlier encounter.