The Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) is a large otter native to the North Pacific, from northern Japan and Kamchatka east across the Aleutian Islands south to California. The heaviest of the otters, Sea Otters are the only species within the genus Enhydra.
Hunted extensively for their luxurious furthe densest of all mammals with up to 394,000 hairs per square centimeter from 1741 onwards, sea otter populations were greatly reduced to the point of extermination in many parts of their historic range. By 1911 the world population was estimated to be just 1,000-2,000 individuals. Although several subspecies are still endangered, the otters have since been legally protected, and reintroduction efforts have shown positive results.
Professional Nature Photography by Christina Craft of the Nature Stock Photography Library