Man Steps Into The Water For A Closer Look And Realizes A Creature Is Headed Right For Him

It’s fairly common to see animals at the beach. While fish, crabs, and—gasp!—even sharks swim and scuttle about in the waves, you’ll often find seagulls in the skies above and people’s pet dogs frolicking in the sand.

Recently at Cadboro Bay Beach in British Columbia, one man had an up-close-and-personal encounter with an animal you might never expect. It surprised him so much, in fact, that he wanted to get a better look—against his better judgment.

What happened when he waded out, knee-deep, into the water to investigate was something that will make you glad that cameras were rolling…

When you see an animal on the beach, it’s usually one of three things: a dog, a bird, or a fish. Of course, certain animals incite more fear than others—like a shark—and it causes everyone to stampede out of the water. Recently, at Cadboro Bay Beach in British Columbia, Canada, however, some beachgoers faced another thing entirely.

Ada / dirtolive / Flickr

The sun was shining and it was like any other ordinary day at the beach when an unnamed man first noticed something strange. Out in the water, not too far from shore, was a dark object floating in the soft waves. What the heck was it?

allisonmoo / YouTube

The man and several other beachgoers gathered at the edge of the shore as they watched the figure move closer. Was it a log? Was it a wounded animal, like a dolphin? Or was it something else entirely? As the strange thing neared the shore, a woman who went by the YouTube handle AllisonMoo started filming…

allisonmoo / YouTube

The beachgoers didn’t know what to make of it, but one thing was for sure: it was definitely not a log or another inanimate object. This thing was alive—and it was headed directly toward them! All the onlookers stared with curiosity…

allisonmoo / YouTube

Then, to everyone’s surprise, the unnamed man bravely stepped into the water. Though it wasn’t clear at first, the creature actually wasn’t injured—nor was it dangerous—at all. At some point, the man must have realized this, because he clearly felt comfortable enough to wade out into the water and meet it…

allisonmoo / YouTube

Suddenly, the creature flipped over in the water. Did it want… a belly rub? As Allison continued taping, the man obliged. After all, it became clear what the animal was: a friendly sea otter! Now, how’s that for an up-close encounter? Still, it wasn’t actually safe to approach a wild sea otter like this…

allisonmoo / YouTube

Sea otters are known for being playful and amiable, but even more than that, they’re known for their sociability. When sea otters travel, they link paws in order to form “rafts.” They never really stray too far from each other, so it was pretty rare to find this lone sea otter at the beach. Was there something wrong with him?

Timothy Snow / Flickr

Even if the otter wasn’t sick, he was definitely behaving unusually. When they’re not sleeping or floating in rafts, otters will wrestle with each other or goof around in general. Could it be that this little guy simply thought the man was another otter?

Roger Zachary / Flickr

The man carefully pet the animal, who playfully swam around his legs and nipped at him with teeth twice as tough as any human’s. At 30 pounds, the otter wasn’t likely to pull off a full-frontal assault, but he would be still be able to dole out some damage if he felt threatened.

allisonmoo / YouTube

Even though otters are generally friendly, that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of causing harm. One woman in Montana suffered wounds that needed hospital treatment when an otter attacked her unprovoked. Obviously, wading out to meet an otter isn’t always a fool-proof plan—and the man learned that firsthand…

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Luckily for this man, this particular otter didn’t seem as if he was rabid or particularly territorial as he waded out into the water. Yet, while things mostly stayed playful, the otter did become a little rough at one point…

allisonmoo / YouTube

The man continued to play with the frisky otter and braved a few playful nips to keep the games going; however, the otter must not have known his own strength because, at one point, he bit the man too hard, prompting the man to yelp out in pain.

allisonmoo / YouTube

Luckily, the man didn’t take it personally. The interaction between these two was something the man could probably brag about for decades. Still, the whole scene begged a really important question…

allisonmoo / YouTube

What the heck was a sea otter doing so close to shore, and what made him decide he wanted to play with a human so badly? As one woman can even be heard saying on camera, “This is so random.” It certainly was!

allisonmoo / YouTube

One thing was certain: this playful pup wasn’t coming to shore to conserve energy! If you watch the video, you’ll see this playful otter had plenty of that to spare. But perhaps there was another explanation to this otter’s behavior…

allisonmoo / YouTube

While we may never know for sure what this wayward sea otter was doing all alone on the Canadian shore, it’s possible that he was separated from his friends and family and just wanted someone to play with because he felt lonely.

allisonmoo / YouTube

Eventually, the otter had to go back to doing otter things. Like a true showman, the animal flipped onto his back and drifted back out to sea, an exit that was both strange, charismatic, and oddly fitting for the situation.

allisonmoo / YouTube

The ensuing video proved surprisingly polarizing. Many viewers were, of course, thrilled to see such a cute otter playing with a human. Others were a little more critical of the situation—and these folks had some good reasons…

allisonmoo / YouTube

For one, as mentioned earlier, sea otters can be a bit dangerous. As Vancouver Aquarium B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network coordinator Tessa Danelesko said, “Animals can behave unpredictably, which poses a safety risk if they use their natural defense mechanisms, like teeth or claws.” There are other critical factors, too.

Andrew Reding / Flickr

Poachers often seek out sea otters for their pelts, which has contributed to their becoming an endangered species. Therefore, encouraging them to fraternize with humans—when some humans may, in fact, have bad intentions—could lead the species into more trouble.

Robb Lansdowne / Flickr

But hey—getting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pet a playful sea otter would be hard for anyone to pass up, animal lover or not. Would you wade out into the ocean and play with a sea otter if given the opportunity?

wlb393 / Flickr

When you watch the video below, you’ll see the entire play date unfold between the man and this happy-go-lucky sea otter. It’s hard not to crack and ear-to-ear smile when seeing an animal clearly filled with glee!

Talk about a rare sighting! For the otter to be so playful makes this interaction even more incredible.

Share this otterly adorable experience with your friends below!

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