River Otter Seen in Colo. City for the First Time in 100 Years

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The Colorado city of Boulder has recorded a sighting of a North American river otter, a federally endangered species that hasn't been seen in the area for 100 years, according to GrindTV.

A motion-sensitive camera captured footage of the animal twice while it fished for food, once on Feb. 26 and again on March 7. The images that have been made available are from the March 7 sighting. The river otter sat in front of the camera for several minutes eating a fish that it had caught.

The appearance of the river otter is believed to be the fruit of a reintroduction program that began in the 1970s. Reintroduction was mounted in two main areas: the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains and the Western Slope.

Until now, the reintroduction efforts have seen successful only on the Western Slope (where the river otters' status was upgraded from endangered to threatened in 2002), but Boulder Creek is in the Front Range, which makes this latest sighting a significant sign of progress.

"They have been seen in Rocky Mountain National Park for a couple of decades, so they're doing well there, and they're starting to spread out," said Christian Nunes, a wildlife ecology technician for Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. "We are extremely excited to have them back on our property."

When sightings in the area have been claimed previously, they turned out to be misidentifications of similar animals like beavers, minks and muskrats. The animal in the new camera footage is a verified North American river otter.

The North American river otter had been extirpated - made extinct locally - about 100 years ago through hunting and by pollution from mining operations.


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Just wait. . . some idiot trapper's steel trap will snap shut on its paw and if the trap doesn't kill it the human's who cruelity know no bounds will kill it. . . .

April 08 2013 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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