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First CA sea otter to survive oil spill has a pup

Posted: September 14, 2012 11:31 a.m.
Updated: September 14, 2012 11:31 a.m.

In this photo taken by the U.S. Geological Society a sea otter holds her pup at Seacliff State Beach near Aptos, Calif. Olive, the sea otter, has amazed researchers by becoming the first sea otter to survive a dunking in oil and go on to deliver a healthy pup.


SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — The first sea otter to survive an oil-soaking in California has given birth to a healthy pup.

The California Department of Fish and Game said Friday that "Olive the Oiled Otter" was spotted swimming on her back with her pup resting on her belly three years after being rescued near Santa Cruz.

Oil damages otters' fur coats, exposing them to the elements and hypothermia.

After being cleaned, Olive was released and outfitted with a microchip and transmitter, allowing scientists to track and study her.

When she was brought in for a checkup this summer, scientists discovered she was pregnant.


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