Otter Steals Board From Surfer


Kevin Harness Contributor
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An otter wanted to catch some waves Sunday and decided to steal a surfer’s board at a California beach.

Mark Woodward, among other surfers, was out at Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz when the curious animal sniffed around and eventually found a board it liked, SFGATE reported. (RELATED: Raccoon Cuts Drive-Thru Lineup, Politely Asks For Donut)

“He was going from board to board and seemed calm and friendly even as he was a few feet from surfers,” Woodward said, according to SFGATE.

A four-year-old female otter also stole a blue board from a Santa Cruz surfer in November 2022, and it may be the same one, according to the outlet.

Around 70 otters inhabit the Santa Cruz coastline, but conflicts with humans are rare due to them being shy animals, according to Bay Nature. However, this particular instance was different.

Colleen Young, an environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, suggested, “It’s possible that she was fed by someone in the wild, which could create a positive association with people,” according to the outlet.

“It’s also possible she was experiencing hormonal surges that caused a change in her behavior.”

Young added that if otters become too comfortable being around humans, it could end badly, the outlet noted.

“Sea otters have very strong jaws and very sharp teeth. A bite from a sea otter can do a lot of damage. Also, sea otters can carry diseases, some of which are transferable to people.”