The sea otter was a marine animal native to Earth. This animal lived in the waters off the California coast.
In the late 20th century, several specimens of this species lived at the Cetacean Institute. They were mentioned in a public announcement. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
In the real world, the sea otters are a star attraction at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where the Cetacean Institute scenes were filmed.
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