Extinct Animals : Sea Otters
The sea otter has been hunted to near extinction for its soft, thick, lustrous fur. This marine mammal once inhabited the coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea from northern Asia and the Aleutian Islands south to lower California. By 1911 it was close to extinction when an international treaty gave it complete protection. The world’s sea otter population is now estimated at between 25,000 and 40,000 individuals. Recent transplants have re-established the species along parts of the Pacific coast where it had been completely wiped out, including the coast of British Columbia.
The sea otter does not have deposits of fat under its skin to keep it warm. Instead it depends on air trapped in its thick fur for insulation against the cold, consequently pollution from oil spills is a major threat to these animals.