Sea otter jumps into kayak in Elkhorn Slough

- John Koester of Boulder Creek was celebrating his birthday with a day of kayaking, when he had an unexpected visitor. 

When Koester and his wife Heather Vannes launched their kayaks into the Elkhorn Slough on Monday they spotted a raft of otters in the distance. They knew they should keep a 50' distance so they watched the otters from afar. 

One of the otters began swimming toward the kayak so Koester remained still. To his surprise, the otter jumped onto his kayak. 

 “We just couldn’t believe it – he climbed into the boat,” said Vannes. 

The otter made itself at home, scratching its back and rolling around on the front of the boat. It even nibbled Koester's shoe.

Koester was stunned. He wasn't sure what to do and knew he should not touch the otter. He wasn't worried about his safety but knew not to interfere with wildlife. Koester sat still, thinking the otter would jump off the kayak - but it didn't. 

"He was just happy to lie there," said Vannes. 

The couple was silent. "He (Koester) was looking at me like what do we do now!" The couple started paddling and eventually the otter jumped off the kayak. 

Koester says the otter was as big as a German Shepard estimating its size at 80-85 pounds.

He says it was an incredible experience. 


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