Earlier this week, a surfer off the coast of California had an unexpected encounter with a sea otter as it amusingly commandeered his surfboard. Bystanders on the shore captured footage of the hilarious stand-off between the otter on top of the surfboard and the surfer treading water in the ocean. Now, the video of the encounter is going viral online.
Surfer Chad Underhill-Meras shot the five-minute video of his friend and fellow surfer Nick Ericksen dealing with the otter. The pair, along with other surfers, were enjoying a day on the waves on Monday in Santa Cruz. During their session, an otter that was seen in the area earlier in the day took over Nick’s surfboard.
Even though he attempted to retrieve the surfboard, the animal wouldn’t budge. Additionally, the surfers realized the otter was pregnant, and the mother-to-be seemed to become territorial over the stolen surfboard. Eventually, another surfer got into the ocean and helped Nick recover his property.
In a last-ditch effort, the otter and Nick got into a swimming race as they both went after the surfboard once it was freed. Chad made sure to post the funny stand-off on Instagram where it’s now raking up thousands of views.
“[Nick Ericksen] had a real case of the mondays yesterday…,” Chad joked about his friend on Instagram. “A pregnant otter stole his surfboard, starts gnawing on it, and they had a standoff. At the end he gets a little help to get his board back, almost attacked at a couple points, then gets chased in like a true local #punkedbyanotter. Years ago [Nick] said his 1st tattoo was going to be a an otter, this may have changed his mind.”
An Otter Might Be Cute, But They’re Not Exactly Friendly
All’s well that ends well in the case of the surfboard thief. However, a few different times in the video viewers can see that the otter shows aggression. As Nick attempts to get his property back from the animal, the female otter stands its ground and snarls at him.
According to wildlife experts, the otter’s aggressive behavior isn’t uncommon. Wildlife blog “Wild Explained” shares that just because the aquatic creatures look adorable and are entertaining to watch, they’re not always friendly.
“Otters aren’t nice and friendly towards other species and may even be aggressive in some cases,” the wildlife blog explains. “Otters are not friendly to humans.”
“At first, they may look sweet,” the blog says of the animals. “But don’t let this fool you; they are wild animals. And just like any other wild carnivores, they are not very friendly.”
While people are used to seeing playful otters in zoos and aquariums, they’re actually a rare sight in the wild. According to the blog, they typically avoid human interaction. Maybe things are different when a surfboard is involved.
“Still, it’s very hard to spot one in the wild as they tend to avoid being near people,” the wildlife blog added.