MONTEREY, Calif. (KION-TV)- The Monterey Bay Aquarium celebrates Rosa the sea otter's 23rd birthday.
She was found stranded between Sunset and Manresa State Beaches in southern Santa Cruz County in September 1999, only about four weeks old and weighing just over five pounds. In April 2000, she was released back to the wild where she spent nearly two years until she began interacting with divers and climbing onto kayaks. Because of the potential risks to herself and people, federal wildlife officials declared her non-releasable.
Rosa joined the sea otter exhibit in June 2002. During her years at the Aquarium, she's put her maternal instincts to work — she's reared more pups than any other active surrogate mother on exhibit. She's one of our larger otters, and you can also identify her by the silvered-colored fur on her head and white freckles. After a feeding, you can often see her resting on the water's surface at the center window. She gets her name from a character in John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat — the first of the author's novels set on Cannery Row.Monterey Bay Aquarium
The lifespan of a sea otter is typically from 15 to 20 years.