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National Geographic > National Geographic Videos > Wildlife > Sea Otters in Danger
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Sea Otters in Danger

Running Time: 2 Minutes

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For several years, something mysterious has been plaguing sea otter populations off the coast of California. Many have begun experiencing seizures, shaking, weakness, and also showing signs of losing awareness. These symptoms and other research data point to a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. Studies show a link to human population centers, where the parasite is transported by freshwater runoff. Other factors could also be responsible, from pollution to pesticides. Because people and sea otters eat much of the same seafood, it poses the question of how humans might be affected. This has raised the stakes, making the effort to save the sea otters a California state priority.

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