Amazing sea otters capture our hearts.
My friend Mary Willard sent me this email from Alaska recently:
“I was camping at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau and the National Park Visitor Center there had your book Lootas Little Wave Eater for sale. It made me happy. We saw sea otters in Glacier Bay National Park and again yesterday on a boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park out of Seward. They are so precious! One of the sea otters yesterday had a couple of gulls by it and something orange on its belly. As we got closer we saw that it was eating a Pacific octopus! Slurped those tentacles right down.”
Who can resist this adorable mug? The Lootas book tells the story of a one-month old sea otter pup whose life in the ocean off the coast of Alaska took a sudden drastic turn when her mother was accidentally killed by a fishing boat early one foggy morning. Sea otter pups cannot swim or feed themselves until they are at least a few months old.
Lootas was rescued by the fisherman and flown the same day to the Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage. Within a week, they found a new home for her at the Seattle Aquarium where she was hand-raised by marine mammal specialist and now Aquarium director C.J. Casson and his staff. Sixteen years later, she is alive and well and a grandmother, too. You can watch Lootas and other members of the Aquarium’s sea otter family here on the Otter Cam.
How much does a sea otter pup eat? Sea otter pups need to eat a third of their body weight every day to stay healthy. So if a pup weighs 6 pounds, how many pounds of octopus, fish, sea urchins or shellfish would she eat? What is Lootas’ favorite food? Crab legs on ice, of course!