Nature: Saving Otter 501

Nature: Saving Otter 501

Sunday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m.

This is the story of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 501st attempt to save a stranded orphan otter.

From her discovery as a newborn pup crying on the beach, through her rehabilitation in secret roof tanks atop the Monterey Bay Aquarium, follow Otter 501 as she learns how to survive in the wild.

Watch as she is introduced to her surrogate mother — a method invented by marine biologist Karl Mayer and his team in 2005 — and follow as she struggles to learn how to dive, hunt, eat, and fend for herself in an artificial environment meant to mimic the “real world.” It is a tale of mysterious threats, persistent failures and small victories, where survival is a long shot at best.

Top photo: Otter 501 being carefully groomed as part of her 8 month long journey to being re-released back into the wild. Monterey, California.

At right: Female southern sea otter pup (Enhydra lutris nereis) 502. Monterey, California.

Bottom right: Toola the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), acting as a surrogate mom to orphaned SORAC pup #327.