Sutro Sam remains unique for the time being because Sutro Sam remains the only North American River Otter living in San Francisco. Since last Saturday dawned without a dawn (cloudy and foggy instead), I ventured back to the western edge of the New World to try my luck again.
Sam hunts in the tiny round pool in the right edge of the above photo. This time I brought my 55-200 zoom lens. I found only one other person there, a photographer from the UK with a professional kit. Sam himself felt more comfortable in the presence of fewer humans and made himself a breakfast of free sushi.
He slithers through the surface of the water, more like a snake or fish than a mammal.
He had most of his fishing success wading through the grasses.
And another meal (again, closing his eyes when he eats):
A few other curiosities about his behavior. While he tolerates humans as long as they keep a certain distance, whenever he sees a human pointing a camera at him he will immediately dive. Perhaps he thinks the human holds a weapon. Also, he doesn’t just go after fish; he did stalk a pair of ducks that landed in the pool. Not certain if he wanted to eat them or merely chase away potential competitors for food; I doubt he can tell the difference between a duck and a pelican.
Vonn Scott Bair
PS–I remembered that I promised you the solution to my most recent puzzle (read this, scrolling all the way to the bottom). If you look carefully at the left side of the word portrait, you will see (not together) the words “Moose” and “Murders.” Yes, it’s the legendary Moose Murders!