Wednesday, 2 September 2015 - 09:37
Car runs over last known Gelderland otter
The last otter known to live in Gelderland was killed on August 27th when she was hit by a car on the hard shoulder of the A12 between Duiven and Zevenaar. Freek Niewold of the Niewold Wildlife Center in Doesburg confirmed this to Omroep Gelderland. Niewold has been keeping an eye on the otter population for years with cameras. A car hit the otter when she tried to cross the road. According to Niewold, the otter had no choice but to cross the road. The tunnel under the road was closed by a trap to catch muskrats. The otter was found about 200 meters from the tunnel. The death of this otter has put an end to the small group of otters that had been living in Gelderland these past 12 years. The animal was reintroduced around the IJssel in Doesburg in 2002 and later in neighboring Gelderse Poort. According to Niewold, at least 12 otters lived in the area, but they are all now gone. At least 6 of them were run over. The others haven't seen seen for a long time. Niewold believes that they were either also killed in traffic, but never found, or drowned in traps. In November last year the court in The Hague ruled that tunnels must be built under roads to make the environment safer for otters.