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Video: Wild otter gives birth to darling pup as amazed humans look on

Watch: Mother otter gives birth to adorable baby (Video: Youtube/Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Word must be getting out among the wild sea otters of central California that a tide pool outside the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a comfortable — if very public — birthing center.

For the second time in three months, a pregnant otter showed up at the aquarium’s Great Tide Pool, this time on Saturday morning. According to the aquarium, she acted something like a laboring mother-to-be in a maternity ward — napping, grooming, pacing. After a few hours, she pulled up onto a rock, rolled around a bit and then reached her paws down to pull a sizable pup out of her, uh, nether regions.  Visitors, the aquarium reported on Instagram, watched in “respectful quiet,” then “gasped (quietly).”

You can watch the otter delivery — complete with an easy listening soundtrack similar to the tunes used on TLC’s “A Baby Story” — on the aquarium’s video at the top of this post. The aquarium warns that “the miracle of life is graphic,” but it’s not that shocking. Within seconds, mama otter is licking the slimy newborn into a recognizable ball of fur, an act that renders it not only stunningly cute but also ultra-buoyant.

The show might have been a treat for aquarium visitors, but it was a professional highlight for the aquarium’s staff and biologists, who reported that they’d never seen anything like it.

Although an otter gave birth in the tide pool in December, no one was present to witness it.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is welcoming a new addition: a baby otter. Mom and the pup were spotted in the tide pool on Tuesday morning. (Video: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

“Our sea otter researchers have been watching wild otters for years and have never seen a birth close up like this,” the aquarium wrote on its Tumblr this weekend. “We’re amazed and awed to have had a chance to witness this Monterey Bay conservation success story first hand in our own backyard.”

It was, the aquarium wrote on Instagram, “a truly and otterly amazing sight.”

Nearly two centuries after fur traders hunted sea otters to the verge of extinction, there are now about 3,000 in the waters off central California, making them a conservation success story.

By Sunday evening, mom and pup were still hanging out on the tide pool’s rocks, snoozing in the sun that shone between bursts of rain. Soon, the aquarium reported, the duo would head out to sea in search of food.

Read more:
Washington’s wildfires gave this sea otter asthma. Now she’s using an inhaler.
It’s time to pick a name for everyone’s favorite baby sea otter. (And you can help.)
That orphaned baby otter is learning to swim and hosting Google Hangouts