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Beloved surfboard-stealing otter spotted again off Northern California shore

Surfboard-stealing otter spotted again
Beloved surfboard-stealing otter spotted again off Northern California coast 01:54

Santa Cruz, California — New mug shots have emerged of otter 841, America's most wanted marine mammal.

Last summer, she terrorized surfers in Santa Cruz, California, biting surfboards and even hijacking them.

Now, she has returned, and surfers are on the lookout.

"I think they're (surfers) excited to see it at first, and then they get scared," one surfer told CBS News.

CBS News went on a deep dive to try and spot otter 841, which is the number on her tag.

"When I saw her, she was feeding, really close to the cliffs," photographer Mark Woodward said.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Woodward snapped the latest photos of otter 841.

"She was being very respectful of the surfers," Woodward said.

He also captured the images of otter-mania that went viral last year, when crowds tried to get too close.

"So with paddleboarders and kayakers going right through the kelp beds where sea otter sleep, it's dangerous," Woodward explained. "It's also illegal."

Concerned someone could get hurt, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife last year set up a dragnet operation that failed every time. Eventually, the ornery otter disappeared. But in October, she made a surprising return with her pup. Experts now think pregnancy may explain her aggressive behavior.

"I hope she could be left alone," Woodward said. "She lives her best life. Hopefully she will refrain from getting on the boards. But who knows?"

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