This is a public service announcement: You must, I mean, must, take a break from police pursuits and the presidential election and attacks on Muni and Peter Thiel and Millbrae murder and Uber and Trump and watch this video of a baby otter being returned to its mom by the Marine Mammal Center. It will help rebuild any pieces of your heart eroded by all the things I just mentioned — I know it did mine.
Here's the deal: According to the Sausalito-based Marine Mammal Center, the pup, who was less than 48 hours old, was pulled from its mother by a strong tide in Morro Bay. The pup was still so young "it was not able to do much more than float," ABC 7 reports, and was too helpless to get back to its mom on its own.
MMC veterinarian Heather Harris, California Department of Fish and Wildlife sea otter biologist Mike Harris, and a team of volunteers instead searched for the pup's mom by taking "the pup by boat through Morro Bay, testing responses from multiple adult females by presenting the pup in front of other sea otters," according to the MMC.
Though most otters they approached looked up, they "wouldn't approach the boat," the MMC says. "They knew they had found the mother when she responded immediately to the pup's vocalizations and swam over to the boat to retrieve her pup."
Once they knew they had the right mom, the pup was tossed to her — and when you watch the video you'll see that "tossed" is the right term! It's kind of nuts! But according to the MMC, they "needed to put distance between the boat and the mother-pup pair so the mom would come get the pup. She wasn't going to get the pup if it was too close to, or on, the boat."
Because of that need for space, "the pup toss was performed by a senior sea otter biologist with over 25 years of experience. He knew the pup would be just fine with a gentle toss. Sea otter pups physically can't sink... even if you held one underwater it would just going BOING back to the surface... so he knew it would be ok in the water."
And, clearly, the pup was, as after a few suspenseful moments mom had it back in her arms.
"There are very few successful reunites so this is something to celebrate," the MMC says. Agreed!