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Surfers Beware: Board-Stealing Otter Makes Another Appearance In California

An otter climbs up onto a surfboard in the water.

California beachgoers are at risk of having their surfboards stolen this summer by an otter with a criminal record! Last year, this animal was responsible for a frightening crime spree in Santa Cruz. CBS reported that the female otter, estimated to be five years old, had been caught on camera stealing boards from unsuspecting surfers. Who knew that such a little creature could cause so much chaos?

Now, CBS tells us that the animal, known as otter 841, seems to have returned to the scene of her many crimes. However, it looks like she may have abandoned her lawless ways in favor of the straight and narrow path. Photographer Mark Woodward has managed to capture some photos of the former thief, and he thinks that the otter’s surfboard-stealing days are behind her.

“She was being very respectful of the surfers,” he reported.

Mark also believes that it’s best if beachgoers don’t try to get too close to the creature.

“I hope she could be left alone,” he said. “She lives her best life. Hopefully she will refrain from getting on the boards. But who knows?”

Otter 841 may have had her reasons for becoming a surfboard thief.

Some animal experts think there’s a reason that otter 841 was so confrontational last year. She was pregnant! Now that the otter has given birth to a sweet little pup, she may be less interested in commandeering surfboards from humans in the water.

If you’re wondering how an otter could steal a surfboard in the first place, there’s video evidence of how the animal pulled off these heists. Her approach was pretty simple, actually! First, she’d climb onto a surfer’s board. Then, she’d scare the human away! She appeared to enjoy biting the board, too.

An otter climbs up onto a surfboard in the water.
Screengrab from Instagram

We’re glad to hear that this hardened criminal seems to have reformed. However, we wouldn’t advise Santa Cruz surfers to let their guard down just yet!

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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