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"Although sometimes, they're not the most enthusiastic students"
June 1, 2012 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Otter pups learning how to swim. Absurdly cute footage of a mother otter teaching her less-than-thrilled little ones how to get around in the water.
posted by quin (41 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Adorable! Although I'm glad the captions were there to reassure me that Mama Otter wasn't trying to drown the baby in a few places...
posted by lwb at 8:02 AM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm glad the captions were there to reassure me that Mama Otter wasn't trying to drown the baby in a few places...

I know it will probably be criticized here as "that's not how we do things today" but my dad just threw me in a pool when I was first learning how to swim. He was there with me, but I never would have stepped in unless he had pushed.
posted by Fizz at 8:05 AM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good lord, it's the cutest thing ever. There is a brief moment around 1:08-1:10 when you can see the pup's face, and it just looks terrified.

Fizz: same here. I never begrudged him for it either. Does this, finally, make me an otter?
posted by broadway bill at 8:12 AM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was certain this was the Columbus, OH zoo as I was watching, and . . . sure enough. The river otters are seriously fun to watch, especially with their pups. The parents don't seem to give their charges a single inch, even while the pups will challenge them again and again. I've learned a lot of good tips from them, speaking as a parent.
posted by rumposinc at 8:18 AM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I approve of this post.
posted by The otter lady at 8:23 AM on June 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


I made unspeakable high pitched noises while watching this. Adorable.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:24 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


So cute! And I learned something, making this technically educational and practically the same as work.
posted by shelleycat at 8:31 AM on June 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yeah, this post deserves one long exclamation, and that exclamation is:

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
posted by lazaruslong at 8:32 AM on June 1, 2012


It's pretty suspicious that the "baby" otter has whiskers. I think we're actually seeing an otter wife punishing her diminutive husband for coming home drunk again, as they are want to do. But they don't tell you about those things in nature documentaries, do they?
posted by orme at 8:33 AM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Otter > Beaver.
Fact.

Also, I agree with the SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
posted by Mezentian at 8:34 AM on June 1, 2012


River otter > sea otter
posted by desjardins at 8:37 AM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Too much adorable!

But having witnessed otter parents teach their young how to sneak up on floating pelicans and drown them and eat them, it's also kind of sinister. Still awesome, though.
posted by rtha at 8:39 AM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Adorableness is the best mask for sinisterness, as evil river otters know.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:47 AM on June 1, 2012


I can't be the only person thinking "fuck pelicans" now, can I?

(Or fondly remembering Tales of the Golden Monkey?)
posted by Mezentian at 8:50 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was very cute. I had no idea that otters needed to be taught to swim but it makes sense.
posted by shoesietart at 8:58 AM on June 1, 2012


But having witnessed otter parents teach their young how to sneak up on floating pelicans and drown them and eat them, it's also kind of sinister.

Brown pelicans are my favorite bird. This is bad news.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:58 AM on June 1, 2012


+1 for the banjo, too.
posted by scottatdrake at 8:59 AM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Otters gonna ott.
posted by moonmilk at 8:59 AM on June 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


I approve of this aquatic playfulness.
posted by arcticseal at 9:05 AM on June 1, 2012


I love that after the lesson, they get picked up and carried to a warm bed to sleep it off. Like, "Good job not drowning, baby otter. You worked so hard, now you can just go limp and not even have to walk back to the den." I kinda wish somebody would do that for me after a major workout.

Also, the whole time in my head that baby was making the same noises as nononononono cat.
posted by vytae at 9:06 AM on June 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


The bit where she has to drag the escaping baby back into the water by its wiggly little foot was DELIGHTFUL and pretty much identical to my childhood interaction with my mom when it was time for piano lessons. (except the piano was not underwater. and i do not have flippers.)
posted by elizardbits at 9:14 AM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


The adorable river otters of Rodeo Lagoon, in the Marin Headlands, don't seem so cute and playful when they take down a brown pelican. Click on the image to see a larger version. (Image is an illustration of hunting techniques.)

River Otter Predation on Brown Pelicans at a Lagoon in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (.pdf)

In the period before the otters began to prey on the pelicans, there were lots of pelicans in the lagoon. Once the otters began hunting and eating them, pelicans avoided the lagoon (except for the ones who hadn't gotten the memo). It's really disturbing to watch, and also impossible to look away.
posted by rtha at 9:16 AM on June 1, 2012


This related video of a baby gorilla being cared for by a zookeeper was odd. She was holding the baby gorilla on her lap, basically acting like a mother gorilla, but the thing was she was doing it in the regular zoo pen, while lots of people watched her from behind the glass. It was really odd seeing a human "In the Zoo" like that. At lest to me.

That said, don't let their cuteness lull you into a false sense of security
posted by delmoi at 9:16 AM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


hahahahahaha OTTER CHAOS hahahahahaha
posted by broadway bill at 9:18 AM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


If otters could speak, I imagine the first thing they would say is "It might be nice to hear some music that wasn't bluegrass".
posted by benito.strauss at 9:22 AM on June 1, 2012 [15 favorites]


I still think SEAL training is harder..
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:28 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked the part where the one baby got lost, so some of the otter's friends went looking for it and eventually found the little tyke being cared for by Pan. That was awesome.
posted by LionIndex at 9:29 AM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ah, old-school swimming lessons. Chuck 'em in, dunk 'em, let 'em figure it out.
posted by Decani at 9:39 AM on June 1, 2012


Oh Damn, this is in Columbus, I smell a meetup!
posted by Blasdelb at 9:40 AM on June 1, 2012


I missed the part where the baby otter squeaked, "I never asked to be born!"
posted by digsrus at 9:49 AM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


dawwwwww
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:12 AM on June 1, 2012


Ok I confess, that yanking it down from teh branch made me laugh. out loud.
posted by infini at 10:28 AM on June 1, 2012


I still think SEAL training is harder..

Some of us are naturals.
posted by arcticseal at 12:20 PM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I know it will probably be criticized here as "that's not how we do things today" but my dad just threw me in a pool when I was first learning how to swim. He was there with me, but I never would have stepped in unless he had pushed.

Same here, but replace the pool with the Pacific Ocean with 3-5 foot surf, and my brother and I were thrown off a rock jetty a few hundred feet from shore.

Also, we were begging him to do it. I think he just wanted to be left alone to fish off the jetty and drink beer, which he was free to do in the time it took us to swim to shore and scramble back out to the end of the jetty to do it again, which probably wasn't nearly long enough.

Yes, I'm an otter.
posted by loquacious at 12:42 PM on June 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


RE: throwing-in method of teaching humans to swim
Yeah, that's no so foolproof. I nearly drowned by that method. Twice. Recovered from the resultant lung damage slowly. Some of us are a little slower physically than others. My son got lessons in a pool with a lifeguard standing by.
RE: thowing-in method of teaching otters to swim
Clearly, these otters will never walk into walls the way I do, either. Way to go, otters!
posted by theplotchickens at 1:54 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


delmoi: It was really odd seeing a human "In the Zoo" like that.

Well, there have been human zoos in the past centuries, as recently as 1906 in the United States. Then there was Albert Vidal's El Hombre Urbano in 1983.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:18 PM on June 1, 2012


I just thought of an Emo Philips bit that would make a great comment, so I googled it to get the correct wording (so I wouldn't have to rely on my memory). One of the top hits was comment I made on Metafilter back in 2008... Guess this is the digital version of getting old and telling the same stories over and over again.
posted by 445supermag at 3:30 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also approve of this post.
posted by otters walk among us at 6:11 PM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Otters gonna ott.

The thought of hearing those words out of the mouth of Proposition Joe or Omar Little fills me with tremendous joy.
posted by otters walk among us at 7:00 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know it will probably be criticized here as "that's not how we do things today" but my dad just threw me in a pool when I was first learning how to swim. He was there with me, but I never would have stepped in unless he had pushed.

Yeah, mine too! Only he wasn't actually there with me and only got into the pool when my (justifiably hysterical) mother screamed at him that I wasn't coming up for air, despite the styrofoam floatie he had attached to my back. Yes, I am still bitter.

But otters!! BABY OTTERS!!! Best therapy EVER.
posted by cooker girl at 12:36 PM on June 2, 2012


Playing with an Otter
posted by homunculus at 1:54 PM on June 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


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