KSQD 90.7 FM Santa Cruz
KSQD 90.7 FM Santa Cruz
All About Sea Otters with PK Hattis

With recent reemergence of otter 841, the surfboard swiping sea critter raised in captivity, I’ll be facilitating a panel conversation that includes several sea otter experts and the local photographer whose fateful photos went viral about a year ago.

Otter 841 first entered the public’s consciousness last summer when she was spotted wrestling surfboards away from their owners at Santa Cruz’s famed surf break, Steamer Lane. It didn’t take long for photos and video footage of the seaward heists to go viral and news spread, literally, across the globe as organizations from The New York Times to the BBC clamored to the coast to get a look at her.

But local experts said the increased media attention also brought some unintended consequences, as members of the public soon began approaching all otters while kayaking or surfing in the ocean thinking perhaps it was a run in with the famous animal. This caused a disturbance to the otters’ habitat and threatened their ability to collect enough food to stay warm in the frigid Pacific Ocean.

The conversation will look to address how we can appreciate the natural beauty and creatures all around us without posing an unintentional threat to their wellbeing. We’ll also get the latest on otter 841 and the status of sea otters in general.

Guests include:

  • Mark Woodward, also known as “Native Santa Cruz” who took the original viral photos of 841.
  • Gena Bentall, Director of Sea Otter Savvy, a local nonprofit promoting the health and wellbeing of sea otters.
  • Lilian Carswell, a southern sea otter recovery coordinator with U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

Photo by: Mark Woodward (Native Santa Cruz)

Songs: Otter Girl by Alice D’Jardin & Otter 841 Song by Jeff McDermott.