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Otter Observations

J Scott Shannon
From 1983-2008, I observed a population of ocean-going river otters at Trinidad Bay, California. During that time – a period spanning five otter generations – I saw these animals do things that no other person has ever witnessed: some of them wonderful, some of them terrible, but fascinating all in all. The population declined steadily beginning in 1992, however. At its peak, there were eighteen otters living at Trinidad Bay. Now, none live here. My study concluded on 6 June 2008, 25 years to the day after it began.

I will keep this blog open as a document telling of the final years of my otter family, and perhaps, from time to time, share a story or two here from happier days past. I do not want these extraordinary animals to be forgotten...

Dramatis Lutrinæ

Old Mama (1981?-1992): The founding matriarch of the otter family at Trinidad Bay.

Old Mama's eldest daughters - the original Two Sisters (1986-1992): Mama Junior (front), and Scarnose.

Little Mama (1991-2005): Mama Junior's daughter; in 1992, the sole surviving female descendant of Old Mama.

The Two Brothers - Mama Junior's sons: Ninety (1990-2002), and Little Mama's littermate brother, Giant (1991-1999).

The latterday Two Sisters - Little Mama's daughters: Scoots (1995-2006) and Misster (1995-2003).

Slick (2002- ): Scoots's only surviving son; the sole representative of the 5th generation of Old Mama's lineage.



JSS, August 2003.

I also keep a personal blog at ashetlandpony. It's mostly memories of my family (my human family, that is).



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