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Sea Otter Rescued From Oil-Soaking In Santa Cruz Gives Birth

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A young otter, nicknamed 'Olive,' shortly after it was found on a beach in Santa Cruz covered in crude oil. (University of California, Santa Cruz)

A young otter, nicknamed ‘Olive,’ shortly after it was found on a beach in Santa Cruz covered in crude oil. (University of California, Santa Cruz)

SANTA CRUZ (CBS / AP) — A rescued California sea otter found covered in oil on a Santa Cruz beach in 2009 has a new member of the family.

The California Department of Fish and Game says “Olive the Oiled Otter” has given birth to a healthy pup, becoming the first otter to survive an oil spill in the state.

Oil damages otters’ fur coats, exposing them to the elements and hypothermia.

Olive was cleaned of the oil and fed back to health by DFG’s veterinary staff.

The otter was released, and outfitted a microchip and transmitter, allowing scientists to track and study her.

When Olive was brought in for a checkup this summer, scientists discovered she was pregnant.

Last Friday, Olive was spotted swimming on her back with her pup resting on her belly.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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