Alone In The Water
One seemingly normal day on Vancouver Beach in British Columbia, a man decided to go for a swim. He wasn’t afraid of anything and never imagined that he would come across a wild creature until he saw…
Something Swam Closer
As one man approached the water slowly, he noticed something strange swimming towards the shore. On a whim, the brave man decided to get in the water with the creature and see what was going on. Lucky for us, the strange occurrence was all captured on camera. The whole situation was pretty freaky, but also very entertaining. The man never thought he would see what he saw on that strange day on Vancouver Beach. You won’t beleive what ended up happening…
Something Strange This Way Comes
But let’s start at the very beginning. It was a quiet day at Vancouver Beach. The waters were tranquil and the people there that day were basking in complete relaxation. Even the sun was out to make the day even more perfect than it already was. Then, a man noticed something out of the blue. He was curious to know what the object in the water was exactly. Driftwood? Trash? Maybe something more. It was clear was that it was alive…
The moving object got closer and closer to the shore. Other beach goers started to take notice and gather to see what it was exactly. They started to realize that the creature was determined to reach the sand and get away from the water. But why? Why was it so hell-bent on reaching land? Whatever the reason was, it was finally on the cusp of the beach. All the onlookers could do was watch and approach it cautiously. One man was first in line.
Brave? Or Crazy?
Now everyone was merely yards away from the creature. But the man, who was now the closest to it, still couldn’t identify what it was exactly. So he took a deep breath and decided to meet the creature halfway. He started walking into the water trying to get close enough without startling whatever it was out there. The other beach goers simply looked on in bewilderment at this man who was either very brave or extremely foolish.
Running Through His Mind
What was this guy thinking? He was now so close that he started to get a clearer idea of what it was exactly. He knew at the very least that it was a mammal. But maybe it was something completely new, never to have been discovered. Or maybe it was just a dog who had swam out too far and, went missing and was now trying to return to land, holding on for dear life. So what was it?
Seeing the Beast Up Close
The man came to the decision that it wasn’t really either scenario. It wasn’t necessarily something that no one had ever seen before. However, it certainly wasn’t a dog or any creature he was that familiar with. But one thing was for sure: the animal was a friendly thing. He seemed to pose no threat for the beach goers, and so the man felt safe enough to get closer to it. The creature even turned over to let the man rub its belly…
Where Did This Little Guy Come From?
Onlookers discussed what they thought the animal could be, suggesting that it could have hailed from the Northern Sea. What we can confirm though is that this creature can live its entire life in water. Also, due to its incredibly dense hair (one million hairs per square inch), it is suited to living in cold conditions. As for the man, we can’t speak on behalf of him. But we imagine that he was feeling colder than his new beach friend.
A Powerful Creature
Although the man felt comfortable around it, he was naive to act so nonchalantly around the creature. This was a wild animal and the man had no idea what it was capable of. We can confirm that this particular animal is able to use tools to hunt. One example is that it has the ingenuity to open shells with rocks. Also, these creatures are intricate explorers when it comes to hunting their food. They can also catch fish with their hands.
It’s amazing that this man seemed to have no inkling that this little investigation could have resulted in his unexpected demise. Also, it should be noted that this creature needs to consume about 40 per cent of its body weight each day in order to survive. This means that the creature loves its meat, and is known to hunt over 100 different species of prey. That should paint a clearer picture of just how ill informed this beach goer truly was.
A Murmur of Concern
It was obvious that onlookers were genuinely concerned about this man’s well-being. He was pretty much putting his body and soul on the line just to get an up and close video of this thing. While some were impressed with the man’s fearlessness, others were trepidatious about what was going on. What if the animal suddenly liked the taste of this friendly beach visitor and decided to take a bite of his leg? The people were about to find out…
Capturing it all on Film
Nevertheless, the man carried on his carefree day and continued to play with the furry thing. Petting and stroking away, the man was having the time of his life! And it looked like the mammal was also enjoying the attention. Those who were enjoying the interaction got out their smartphones and started snapping away and recording videos. We wonder if the other beach goers also started to feel a craving to give the creature some TLC too.
Could This be Dangerous?
A few minutes passed by and then before he knew it, the creature had wrapped himself around the man’s leg. At first, he wasn’t sure whether to feel under threat or a sense of affection. Didn’t it ever go through the guy’s head that this could all turn ugly at any second? They were interacting with a wild animal and there were no specialists on the beach supervising this bizarre encounter. Maybe the animal was faking it and luring them in for dinner…
A Frightening Moment
The man started to feel that maybe dinner time at the beach was on the cards. The creature was playfully nibbling on his leg and then took one particularly harsh bite that caused him a fair amount of pain. Now things started to get serious. This was the defining moment, was it play time or lunch time? The animal was in control of the situation, having the upper hand over the man in terms of strength, speed and unpredictability.
A Sigh of Relief
But more time went on and the man was still in one piece. The creature was still playing around with his new friend and even had a chance to cuddle with the man. People were wondering: was this the first time? Maybe this animal came to the shore in the past to interact with people at the beach. Maybe he liked making friends with locals. Or maybe those who were at the beach that day were in the right place at the right time.
Attracting a Crowd
The more time the man spent with the animal, the more people gathered round to enjoy the fun and games between the two. One woman shouted out “this is so random.” It was clear that people were bewildered by the situation. This was why everyone had their phones out, taking videos and photos to share with their loved ones: they never saw this before in their lives. How long would it take before millions were seeing this footage online?
An Unexpected Interaction
Just as the man came closer to the water. He saw what was actually in front of him. The animal appeared to be very friendly but he could not be too sure. The creature tried to play hide and seek with him and even tried to wrestle! Some onlookers thought the man was crazy for getting closer to the animal. Animals can be extremely unpredictable, especially around strangers. The man was too curious not to get closer…
He Drew Closer
As the man drew closer and closer to the creature he realized that it was not a fish! he had never seen a creature like this up close, but it appeared to be friendly. Still, most onlookers stayed a far distance away to keep safe. Most would “rather be safe than sorry,” as people always say. This one brave soul had no interest in being safe. Instead, he got closer and closer to the creature. There was no telling how the creature would react.
Snoozing Sea Otters
As the man swam out closer and closer to the creature, other people on the beach were shocked by his bravery. Some onlookers thought the man was being incredibly careless for getting closer to the animal. Unfortunately, the man’s curiosity kept him swimming closer even though he did not know if the creature was dangerous. The animal was alone and very interested in the human. As the man approached the animal, the animal started to swim over even closer.
A Strange Interaction
Finally, the man could tell that it was a sea otter that was close to him. This particular sea otter appeared to be very friendly. He must have lost his way while looking for food. He swam extremely close to the man and even rubbed himself on the man’s leg. The man did not appear to be afraid and the sea otter appeared to be calm. The sea otter did a flip for the man and then…
A Viral Sensation
The sea otter flipped one more time and swam away. Since then, those who witnessed the heartwarming encounter have posted their own recordings of the beach incident on YouTube. Unfortunately, the videos of the man and otter have caused polarizing opinions. While many are taken aback by the sheer cuteness of the interaction, others expressed concern about the man’s naivety to get so close to such a wild animal. He was putting his life at risk for virtually no reason.
Sea Otters in Danger
On the flip side, sea otters are the subject of many conservationist topics, specifically revolving around animal safety. This can be attributed to the numbers. Originally, the population of sea otters reached a high of 300,000. Due to their skin, sea otters are prime hunting targets. This led to a severe decline in their numbers, eventually causing a ban on the hunting of sea otters. As a result, the population has slowly risen once again, but they are still considered an endangered species.
A Horrible Threat
Humans aren’t the only problem that sea otters have to deal with. Oil spillage is one of their biggest threats. If a sea otter is covered in oil, this prevents them from being able to keep warm in the treacherous cold waters of the Northern Sea. Sea otters spend much time keeping themselves clean, but oil is practically impossible to clean off manually. If not taken off in time, they can suffer from hypothermia, which can lead to death.
Getting Up Close and Personal
The video just goes to show that there is nothing quite like interacting with an animal in their natural habitat. There are even organizations who live by this mantra and dedicate their time to studying these dynamics. Their main method is to plant cameras in discrete locations where they think certain species may live. When animals believe that there is no nearby threat, they let go of their inhibitions. This is when the best footage is recorded.
With Stunning Results
Some of the aforementioned organizations attempt to raise awareness of endangered species such as sea otters. Then there are initiatives designed to investigate animals that there may not much information for. Some are purely dedicated to celebrating certain species simply because of their unique qualities. But all these organizations plant their cameras and let the recording work its magic until they are ready to collect the footage. Sometimes they leave the cameras on record for weeks or even months on end.
A Truly Rare Sighting
However, what the man will discover is that his encounter with the sea otter on Vancouver Beach was rarer than previously anticipated. According to researchers at San Diego Zoo, it’s rare for sea otters to come so close to the shore. Normally, sea otters tend to reside either side of the Bering Strait, which is the gap between Russia and Alaska. They can also be found on the coast of Western Canada and California, particularly in the forest lakes.
A Step too Far?
Despite being a viral sensation, many responded negatively to the interaction between the man and the sea otter. Furthermore, it has become a case study that professionals are using to demonstrate the dangers of unsupervised interactions with wild creatures. In fact, many researchers consider otters to be one of the most capricious animals on the face of the planet. Vancouver Aquarium’s mammal expert Tessa Danelesko also attested to this claim, saying that “they can behave unpredictably.”
More Dangerous Than They Look
Danelesko also described the threat that otters pose simply by using their hands. According to her, they are “powerful enough to crush shellfish, they are more than capable of taking fingers and toes.” When considering the man’s harmless encounter, it makes you think: the beach incident could have played out completely different depending on how the animal was feeling. As a further safety precaution, she reminded the public that “animals can also transmit diseases to people.”
Curiosity Killed The…
It may seem like this sought of violent behavior would be rare as far as sea otters are concerned. But the reality is that the worst case scenarios are becoming more and more frequent. The relationship between humans and sea otters has evolved over time. Now that the animal’s population is growing once again, the sea otter community is generally becoming more intrigued about the outside world. Therefore, the increased frequency of human interaction makes perfect sense.
Human vs Animal
But not everyone is like the man in the video. Unlike him, there are many who are not so genuine when it comes to their interactions with wildlife. Some just want to record the creatures and enjoy viral success through their findings. The harsh reality is that many are just exploiting animals in order to make a quick buck. Also, many members of the public are concerned for their own safety, with wildlife becoming increasingly comfortable in public areas.
Keep Your Distance
This doesn’t bode well for sea otters and other animals also deemed as dangerous to the public. This could also force the government to take extreme action against these types of species. One of the widespread opinions on YouTube comments below the video is that people like the man in the video should leave animals alone when they are in public places like the beach. Any behavior, even if intended to be friendly can provoke animals to be violent.
A Keystone Species
So what if sea otters become extinct? Well, it is actually extremely important that sea otters remain in the world. This is because they are considered a Keystone Species, which means that they are crucial to stabilizing their environment. To put it into perspective: if sea otters were extinct, they wouldn’t be around to eat sea urchins. This means that an excessive amount of the ocean’s kelp would be destroyed, which would be detrimental to the growth of forests.
A Knock On Effect
The extinction of sea otters would have considerable negative impact on the food chain. Their consumption of other creatures such as lobsters and crabs regulates those populations and prevents them from overpopulating the waters. Also, an overpopulation of sea urchins would have a negative impact on many fish who depend on kale. The amount of fish that would die as a result would be unfathomable. Basically, losing sea otters would cause a massive domino effect throughout the animal kingdom.
A Cautionary Tale
While touching or even coming close to one of these rare animals may seem like an amazing experience, it may be detrimental to both the animal and the humans involved. So governments are now recommending the public to stay away from wild animals like sea otters. If you’re going to the beach and see one of these furry creatures, stay away. Recording video footage is considered perfectly fine, but that is as far as the experience should go.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled!
However, please don’t feel disheartened by this word of advice. Your government is only looking out for both your safety and wellbeing, as well as the sea otters. But wait, there’s still hope! If you ever see yourself going to the beach any time soon, make sure to stay alert and keep an eye out for moving objects floating towards the shore. You never know, it may be a rare creature worth taking a photo of. You may even be able to record some stunning footage of these cute animals.