I was walking on the beach this afternoon when this critter poked his/her head out of the surf just offshore, looked around, then made a dash for the nearby woods. Need some lazyweb help – is it a sea otter?
update: Via Miriam Bobkoff, via Twitter – “More likely a river otter. His back feet similar in size to front, and he looks graceful on land…. We see them off Port Angeles shore, swimming in the Strait.” She links to this:
Sea otters rarely venture on land, where their movements are awkward and clumsy. In contrast, the agile river otter is frequently ashore. River otters maintain at least one permanent den on land, near the water, as well as several temporary shelters. While all otters consume fish and other aquatic animals, river otters also forage for food along the shore, and they prefer to eat on land rather than in the water.