Sea Otters - a Million Dollar Baby

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Natural World, 2010-2011 Episode 3 of 14

Duration: 59 minutes

The trials and tribulations of a sea otter pup growing up on the coast of California.

The Californian sea otter is one of the rarest, and possibly cutest animals in the world. So when a sea otter mum decides to have her pup among the yachts of a millionaires' marina, it is a unique event. The mum must teach her baby how to dodge the boats and find the food in this busy harbour. However, the arrival of a tough male sea otter signals disaster for the family. When mum is attacked, the poor pup is left on her own and must fight for survival.

  • Sea Otter mother holds up newborn pup

    Sea Otter mother holds up newborn pup

    Wild Sea Otters spend most their life in the water. The newborn pups are held on top of their mothers to keep out of the freezing water. This Sea Otter mum has made her home on some docks but still lies with the pup on top of her mimicking her wild relatives.

  • Pup sleeps on mother's belly

    Pup sleeps on mother's belly

    Sea Otter mothers are very protective of their pups and rarely let them out of their sight. Here the mother enjoys a rare peaceful moment when the pup falls asleep on her belly.

  • Sea Otter pup rests on dock

    Sea Otter pup rests on dock

    During the pup's early life, she is left by her mother in a safe place whist she hunts beneath in the water for food. She returns quickly to the dock to check on her pup and to feed her.

  • Sea Otters mating

    Sea Otters mating

    Sea Otter mating is often a rough affair. Males have many female partners however temporary bonding happens for a few days whilst the female is in heat. Mating takes place in the water and can be rough with the male biting the female on the muzzle. This often leaves scars on the nose and sometimes involves holding her head under water.

  • BBC Wildlife Finder

    BBC Wildlife Finder

    Find out more about Sea Otters and other Natural World animals at the BBC Wildlife Finder.

    BBC Wildlife Finder


Bonnie Greer
Emma Napper
Executive Producer
Tim Martin


Featured in...

  • Natural World

    BBC Two's classic wildlife series which tells in-depth stories of incredible animals.

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