Posted in: Animal News

Rare River Otter Spotted In San Francisco Stumps Scientists

Sea otter

If anyone has ever been to the the world famous Pier 39 in San Francisco, California, there is a great chance they’ve seen the famous sea lions that make the pier their home. Now for the first time in decades, a river otter has been spotted in San Francisco.

River otters use to live in the San Francisco Bay in large numbers. Sadly, the development of the fur trade in the 19th and early 20th centuries nearly wiped out the otter population.

According to NPR, scientists and researchers are unsure how the otter found its way to San Francisco. They are currently working around the clock to solve to solve the mystery.

The mysterious river otter in question makes its home near the Golden Gate Bridge in the ruins of 19th Century seaside baths. It is the first found in the San Francisco Bay since the otter community left the area.

A research group call the The River Otter Ecology Project that works in the Bay Area and further north to study otter populations says that this is the first evidence of otters returning to San Francisco.

The seaside baths that the mystery otter calls home are named “Sutro Sam” in honor of former San Francisco mayor Adolph Sutro and after its new home. The baths were erected in 1896 on a cliff facing the pacific ocean. In 1966, the baths were burned down by a fire and have since become a tourist attraction.

Here is an amateur video shot of Sutro Sam:

There was a recent rise reported in the tiger population is Asia. San Francisco’s newest resident may be a sign of another endangered species showing positive population growth.

What do you think: Is the news of a possible otter re-emergence in San Francisco a good sign for the animal population and surrounding environment?

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6 Responses to “Rare River Otter Spotted In San Francisco Stumps Scientists”

  1. Chandra J. Donahoe

    I have the same question. Your article refers to this otter as both a sea otter and a river otter. Which is it?