Sea Otter Overwhelmed by Ice #shorts

#otter #seaotter #kpassionate
Kunik the rescued sea otter has so many ice treats that she doesn’t know what to do! In the wild, sea otters will often use their teeth to crack into the hard shells of clams, mussels, and abalone. The abrasive shells will act like a toothbrush and scrape away plaque. Sea otter’s teeth are significantly more robust than human teeth so they can withstand the force necessary to break into the seashell. The molar’s of a sea otter have 6 roots instead of just two so they are specially designed for crunching.

However, it’s difficult to give oysters on the half-shell to marine mammals under human care. The seafood has to be carefully inspected for quality and freshness. In fact, their food is required to meet FDA standards for high end restaurants! But these sea otters still occasionally need something hard to chew on, not only to keep their teeth clean, but to satisfy an otter’s natural desire to crunch something.

Ice also helps sea otters keep cool. The normal body temperature of a sea otter is much higher than humans thanks to their thick fur coat. A sea otter’s fur is the densest in the animal kingdom! Not to mention the fact that sea otters have an extremely high metabolism that helps them make heat energy. All to help them stay warm in the frigid North Pacific.

Recently, I was asked by a follower “what do sea otters do during storms, like the atmospheric rivers that are hitting California?” I answered that question here:

Kunik is a rescued sea otter who was found by the U.S. Coast Guard on Homer Spit, Alaska. She was only days old and it was determined she was tragically separated from her mother and unable to survive on her own. She was rescued and taken to the Alaskan SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska where she was named Kunik, which is the word in Inuktitut for a traditional Inuit greeting, or “kiss.”

Typically, juvenile sea otters stay with their mothers for 6 to 7 months where they learn important skills such as foraging and grooming. Since Kunik never learned these skills, she was deemed non-releasable by marine biologists at the NOAA after they determined she was unlikely to survive in the wild.

The good news is this ice loving sea otter has thrived under human care, going viral on YouTube. Kunik has inspired millions to care about ocean conservation and the survival of her species.

See my reaction to the most common comment on my otter videos:

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