"Olive the Oiled Otter" was spotted off the shore of Capitola on Tuesday with what scientists believe is her second pup since she was released from oiled wildlife rehabilitation several years ago, DFW spokesman Eric Laughlin said.
Olive was in bad shape when she was brought to the department's Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center in Santa Cruz to be rehabilitated in February 2009, Laughlin said.
The oil that had covered her was naturally occurring and did not come from a spill, he said.
Olive was treated and cleaned, and was released from the rehab center on April 7, 2009. She gave birth to her first pup in September 2012, he said.
It was the first known birth by a rehabilitated oiled sea otter in the state's history, according to Laughlin.
The second birth, Laughlin added, "is further testament to our rehabilitation efforts" and shows that sea otters can "go on to live full lives and contribute to the species' population."
Laughlin said sea otters are a threatened species. Olive has remained in the Capitola area since her release, and a biologist routinely checks on her, Laughlin said.
Scientists will monitor Olive and her new pup to document their progress.