Wildlife officials in California are attempting to capture a sea otter notorious for stealing or damaging surfers’ boards.
The 5-year-old female, known as Otter 841, has recently become more aggressive toward surfers in Santa Cruz, with three separate incidents of board-theft witnessed over the last weekend alone.
A spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the animal would be captured and rehomed due to the “increasing public safety risk.”
A 16-year-old accosted by 841 last month said the “otter was shredding, caught a couple of nice waves,” after taking his board.
A 40-year-old software engineer said he tried to paddle away from the otter, but 841 bit off the board’s leash and proceeded to rip chunks out of the board itself.
“I tried to get it off by flipping the board over and pushing it away, but it was so fixated on my surfboard for whatever reason, it just kept attacking,” Joon Lee told the New York Times of the Monday incident.
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