Japanese River Otter Declared Extinctthe daily dish
It's a sad day for Japan and its native animal kingdom. According to Scientific American, the country's Ministry of the Environment has declared the Japanese river otter extinct.
The Japanse river otter was last seen in Japan's Kochi Prefecture in 1979, but in earlier days, the species ran rampant across the country. There used to be millions, but they were hunted for their fur, which was sold to foreign traders. The otters also suffered from a diminishing habitat.
Searches have been conducted over the years to find the river otter, but little evidence appeared that they still existed. The animal remains the official symbol of Japan's Ehime Prefecture.
The otter is not the only mammal to become extinct in Japan. The horseshoe bat, last seen in 1971, was also declared extinct. In addition, the Asian black bear (on the island of Kyushu), one bird species, one insect species, one shellfish species and two plant species were also listed as extinct. However, the otter and horseshoe bat are the first mammal extinctions in Japan of species that had been around from the period of 1926-1989.
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