Experts help a sea otter deliver at California research centre

Experts help a sea otter deliver at California research centre

A team of experts have helped a sea otter deliver a healthy pup at the research centre located in the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The sea otter was impregnated in the wild but was born at the centre allowing researchers to increase understanding of the nursing mother. It was the first time that a sea otter pup conceived in the wild was born at a research centre.

The team of scientists at the University's Long Marine Laboratory have observed the pup since its birth in November and it will be released in the wild this summer after it stops consuming its mother's milk. The researchers have made sure that the pup does not becoming attracted to humans by limiting its interaction with humans. It is kept in a pool with the mother.

Senior animal trainer Courtney Ribeiro-French said, "All of a sudden, she stopped somersaulting. She started pulling the head out of her genital area and then you heard the screaming." It was a high-pitched whine, the pup's cry.

Experts said that southern sea otters have been listed as threatened since 1977. Estimates suggest that there are about 3,000 off the California coast.

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