How to Report a Stranded Sea Otter
Sea otters are protected under federal law! They’re protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Only authorized wildlife professionals—like our sea otter program staff—are allowed to catch or move them.
Follow these steps if you come across a sea otter you think is ill, injured or abandoned.
Print out a flyer with tips for reporting stranded otters
- Don't touch it or try to catch it—doing so is illegal, and sea otters can bite.
Keep people and pets away from the otter. Don't wrap a stranded otter in a blanket—it will overheat very quickly.
Call one of the agencies listed at right to report a sea otter in distress. Wildlife specialists will come and determine whether the otter needs help. If it does, they’ll capture it and take it in for care.
To report a stranded otter, contact one of the following agencies:
In Central California:
Monterey Bay Aquarium
(sea otter 24-hour emergency line)
Monterey County SPCA
The Marine Mammal Center