Inhabitants of the giant kelp forests that grow in the frigid coastal waters from Santa Barbara’s Coal Oil Point to Half Moon Bay, Southern Otters were hunted to near extinction at the turn of the last century.
Conservation efforts conducted by organizations like the Aquarium of the Pacific have ensured that they are protected by law so that there are now approximately 2,800 otters living along the California coastline. The newest addition to the otter family at the Aquarium, is Betty, (named in honor of longtime supporter Betty White), who was found as a week-old pup upstate. As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deemed her non-releasable because she had not yet learned the necessary skills to survive in the wild, she was transferred to the Aquarium where at ten months old she has earned the nicknamed of “Banshee” for wailing loudly when she isn't served her favorite meals.