The Olive the Oiled Otter official Facebook page shared the following update last week:
Olive was back at The Hook today and it appears that she has weaned her pup! Olive was seen bonding with a male, which is normal for females after weaning a pup. The pup was at a normal weaning age, and seemed well-equipped for being on her own, so we're confident she'll do just fine!
Although we had hoped to tag the pup before weaning, we did not want to risk prematurely separating Olive and the pup, and we were not presented with any safe opportunities to capture them both together.
The weaning of Olive's first pup marks another milestone in oiled sea otter rehabilitation. While giving birth to a pup is a success in its own right, successfully raising a pup to weaning age represents a much greater achievement. Research indicates that only 50 percent of pups make it to weaning age, after which the chances of survival are much greater.
Raising this pup successfully is an accomplishment for Olive and further highlights the value in rehabilitating oiled sea otters and other wildlife. We will continue to monitor and report Olive's behavior and reproductive activity as long as possible.
Olive became a celebrity in 2009 when she was found at Sunset State Beach covered in oil from what the Santa Cruz Sentinel calls "a natural seep off the coast."
Have you seen Olive around Capitola? Or any other otters for that matter? Tell us in the comments!