Friends of MLML Host Screening of “Otter 501”

By Catherine Drake, Invertebrate Zoology Lab

One great aspect of being a student at Moss Landing Marine Labs is Friends of MLML, an organization designed to inform the public about MLML through tours and events, as well as help students with their research by providing scholarships. Friends of MLML put on events every other month that are free to the public. Last night was one such event: the screening of the film “Otter 501” presented by Sea Studios Foundation.

Otter 501 being rehabilitated at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

This film revolved around a stranded otter pup, Otter 501, and the young woman who found the pup, Katie Pofahl. The film depicts Otter 501’s journey toward rehabilitation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Although her training on how to hunt was initially slow, Otter 501 learned the tricks to diving and finding prey from her adoptive otter mother, Toola. The film then shows Otter 501’s subsequent release into Elkhorn Slough, located about a mile north of MLML.

Otter 501 and her adoptive mother, Toola.

Following the movie, those who came to the event had a Q&A with Katie, who was also the narrator of the film. When asked if there were any updates on Otter 501’s whereabouts, Katie and fellow researchers present in the audience happily reported that she was spotted that very day in the Slough, interacting with a male!

For more information on events hosted by Friends of MLML, visit their Events page.

For more information about “Otter 501” visit their Facebook page.

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