Animals

By Iain Watts


This is the moment an otter was caught snatching 40 winks as it floated peacefully on its back in the ocean with paws folded – before clocking the camera and shooting an embarrassed glance.

PIC BY BORIS DROUTMAN/MERCURY PRESS

Boris Droutman captured the cute critter drifting along ‘meditating’ with its paws crossed apparently without a care in the world at Monterey Bay, California.

The 57-year-old luxury e-commerce company chief tech officer sought out the fluffy mammals as they’re the official mascot of California State University, Monterey Bay, where his son studies.

Boris, from Manhattan Beach, California, said: “They used to be nearly extinct but these days can be spotted quite frequently in outer covers and bays of Monterey Bay.

“My son attends university there and the sea otter is the official mascot of that school, so when my wife and I were planning a visit there I was hoping to be able to see them close enough to take some shots.

“They were fairly easy to spot, as I was driving around looking for them I noticed them in a little harbour, quickly parked my car with my heart pounding with excitement and hurried to take the shots.

“As it turned out, the hurry was absolutely unnecessary – they gave a two-hour show and by the time I left they were still there.”

The otters Boris spotted were floating calmly, paws crossed in quiet contemplation, seemingly taking a nap.

PIC BY BORIS DROUTMAN/ MERCURY PRESS

Boris said: “They appeared to be enjoying the quiet and warmth of the passing day.

“They would occasionally wake up, look around to check the situation, give virtual ‘high-fives and then go back to snoozing – I was half expecting to hear them snore.

“They were very relaxed and comfortable, completely at peace with their surroundings in quiet meditation – seemingly just getting some quality R&R.

“The light was very good as well – low sun, but not too low and somewhat diffused light so the camera could pick up lots of details of their amazing fur.

PIC BY BORIS DROUTMAN/MERCURY PRESS

“I hope when people look at the photographs they’ll make people smile inside while they observe the cuteness nature can produce.”

Boris, who has been photographing wildlife for three years, said the otters were exemplary models, and he will be back again soon to snap them again soon.

Boris said: “They were super co-operative – they allowed me more than enough time to make sure all my camera settings were correct and allowed me to take pictures from a variety of angles.

“I’m not done with them yet – I want to go back to get pictures of them crab hunting and eating.”