Sea otters were once found in abundant numbers along America’s Pacific rim.  But during the extensive fur trading of the 18th and 19th Century, this playful creature was almost driven to extinction.  Thankfully, conservation measures to protect the mammal have proven successful, and today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, its numbers are at record levels.  Indeed, a recent count found there were some 2,500 sea otters in California, up from 2,100 just a year ago.  And though there have been some concerns raised about the increased number of otters getting sick and dying, U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials claim this may only be the result of having larger populations of the animal in general. For sea otters, this is no doubt some splashing good news!