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Otters are more than just cute, adorable little fuzzballs, they are one of the greatest conservation success stories of all time. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning that an entire ecosystem depends on their presence. After they were nearly hunted to extinction for their dense fur, sea urchins (the otters' favorite food) nearly destroyed the Pacific kelp forests, a habitat that hundreds of species rely on for food and shelter.
Thanks to the hard work of conservation scientists at places like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, sea otter populations are on their way back. Here's the story of one orphaned sea otter pup's journey back to the wild.
Why are we in Monterey? PBS and BBC are teaming up to bring you an incredible LIVE nature broadcast direct from Monterey Bay, California called BIG BLUE LIVE. In late summer, thousands and thousands of ocean animals come together here, in one of the richest ecosystems on Earth. We'll be bringing you a week of videos direct from Monterey Bay all about this incredible place and the biology it holds.
Big Blue Live airs nightly on PBS 8/31-9/2 at 8 PM ET
Big Blue Live airs on BBC One 8/23 (7PM), 8/27 (8 PM), 8/30 (7 PM)
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(Whale illustrations by Nobu Tamura/CC-BY-3.0)
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It's Okay To Be Smart is written and hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
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Produced by PBS Digital Studios: http://www.youtube.com/user/pbsdigitalstudios
Joe Hanson - Creator/Host/Writer
Joe Nicolosi - Director
Amanda Fox - Producer, Spotzen Inc.
Kate Eads - Producer
Andrew Matthews - Editing/Motion Graphics/Animation
Katie Graham - Camera
John Knudsen - Gaffer
Theme music: "Ouroboros" by Kevin MacLeod
Other music via APM
Stock images from Shutterstock, stock footage from Videoblocks (unless otherwise noted)