Know Your Adorable Orphaned Baby Sea Otters – Kit of the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The aging sea otters of Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Golden Girls -  Maggie, Toola, Rosa and Joy, will soon have three-month old Kit to play with.

Here’s Kit. She lost her mom a couple months back down in Morro Bay but now she’s hanging out with her new BFF Mae in Monterery.

Click to expand:

Here’s video of Kit’s first day on display.

All the deets, after the jump.

Visitors can see Kit and her companion Mae in person, online via live Otter Cam

A rescued southern sea otter pup has joined the sea otter exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Today (February 18) marks the debut of 11-week-old Kit, the youngest sea otter in the aquarium’s history to join the two-story exhibit, which is a permanent home for other rescued sea otters. Visitors can watch Kit and her 9-year-old companion, Mae, as they eat, sleep and play.montereybayaquarium.org/efc/efc_otter/otter_cam.aspx), which streams live each day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time. Periodic updates on her progress will also be posted on the aquarium’s Sea Notes blog (seanotesblog.org) and through its Facebook fan page.www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/sorac.aspx.www.montereybayaquarium.org.

“We’re thrilled that our visitors will have this rare opportunity to see a sea otter pup up-close,” said Chris DeAngelo, the aquarium’s associate curator of mammals. “We hope that, as they get to know Kit, they’ll be further inspired to learn more about these threatened marine mammals and help protect these icons of the Central Coast.”

Kit will remain on exhibit as long as DeAngelo and her staff continue to see positive interactions between Kit and Mae, and if Kit eats well and adapts to her new home.

When the time is right, Kit and Mae will be joined by the other exhibit sea otters – Maggie, Toola, Rosa and Joy (all adult females) – who are busy behind the scenes serving as surrogate mothers and companions to other rescued pups until we return them to the wild.

In addition to seeing Kit in person, people can watch her and Mae on the aquarium’s Otter Cam (

As is true with the other sea otters on exhibit, Kit is named after a John Steinbeck character. Kit is the nickname of Ed Carson in “The Wayward Bus,” who claims to be a descendent of the famous frontiersman Kit Carson.

According to Andrew Johnson, manager of the aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC) program, Kit is not a candidate for return to the wild. Other rescued pups are occupying behind-the-scenes areas needed by animals being raised for release, so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has authorized the aquarium to manage Kit in its sea otter exhibit.

Kit came to the aquarium on January 5 as a 5-week-old stranded animal, after she was rescued in Morro Bay by Mike Harris, a sea otter biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Harris observed Kit in a raft (group) of adult female sea otters and pups, vocalizing and trying to climb on some of the adults; none responded positively. After two unsuccessful attempts to reunite the pup with an adult female, Harris contacted SORAC, which cares for stranded sea otter pups and injured adults in off-exhibit holding pools to keep them wild for future release.

Details about the aquarium’s work to help in the recovery of California’s threatened sea otter population can be found on the new Sea Otter Research and Conservation web pages at

DeAngelo anticipates that Kit will stay close to the adult females on exhibit and will mimic their behavior. DeAngelo and her staff will provide plenty of enrichment for Kit and will eventually train her to cooperate with veterinary exams, routine weighings, and transfers on and off exhibit.

Kit will likely remain at the Monterey Bay Aquarium permanently – and may someday serve as a companion animal or surrogate mother for other rescued sea otters in the aquarium’s care.

The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans. To learn more, visit

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