So I was up late watching national geographic and they were doing this special on this aquarium in California. Beautiful, huge glass walls showcase marine life.
One of the things they talked about were the sea otters. And they showed them playfully cavorting in the bay. They also showed them rolling themselves in kelp so they can have their morning nap without drifting out to sea. . .
And then they started talking about how the sea otter, having previously bounced back from extinction, was now declining again. So they wanted to track them. They wanted to know how often they dove for food, how long were they staying under, and how deep did they have to go.
The only way to do this, apparently, was to implant them with a data mining device!
So, as the sea otter is happily rolling him self in preparation of his morning nap, divers are far beneath him, with special breath apparatus that recycles the air so they don’t release bubbles. And then with jumbo sized nets, they scoop the otters up! Stuff them in a kennel! Drive them on a truck to the vets! Knock them out! Implant the device! And put them back in the ocean!
This got me thinking. Is this the sea otter equivalent of getting kidnapped by aliens? Imagine this conversation. . .
Sea Otter 1: I’m telling you! I was minding my own business and then outta no where, I was taken! stuffed in a box and put on some large machine! It moved over land as fast as we move in water! and there were bright lights! And strange sounds! and they put me on a steel table and I’m telling you, they put something in me!
Sea Otter 2: Sounds like someone had too much kelp last night.
Sea Otter 1: I have a scar! A scar to prove it!
Sea Otter 2: Bob, c’mon, you probably ran into a rock again like you did back in ’95.
Sea Otter 1 (aka Bob): I can’t eat! I can’t sleep! I know they are coming back. . . .
Sadly, Bob is right as after a while, they must capture the same sea otter again and take the data mining device out so they can download the data. Poor Bob! Kidnapped by humans and no one believes him.