Celebrating Earth Day with Sea Otters

In honor of Earth Day, we visited our archives to highlight one of our favorite animals – the sea otter.

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It’s true. We have a soft spot for sea otters. Why? Well, you are about to find out. They are special animals that hold hands and instead of having blubber to keep them warm, they have lots and lots of hair. Oh, and they enjoy the sea.

“One of my favorite characteristics of sea otters is their natural maternal instinct to protect and provide for their young,” Frank Reynolds, director of programs and development for Friends of the Sea Otter, shared. “It’s ‘mother’ nature in its most raw setting, and it’s a beautiful thing to see a mother taking care of its newborn (and very adorable) sea otter.”

Here are some facts about sea otters:

  • While a human has roughly 700 hairs per square inch on their head, a sea otter has 170,000 to over 1 million.
  • Each day, sea otters eat at least 25 to 30 percent of their body weight in food.
  • The sea otter was hunted to near extinction in the 19th century.
  • Currently, there are less than 3,000 sea otters in California and they are protected under the Endangered Species Act & Marine Mammal Protection Act.
  • Sea otters have been known to swim up to 5 mph.
  • Sea otters live, on average, in the wild for 15 years.
  • Sea otters do not have blubber. Instead, they have the densest fur in the animal kingdom.

Learn more about sea otters at seaotters.org.