Wild otter spotted in Amsterdam for first time in nearly 50 years
An otter was spotted in Amsterdam nearly 50 years since the last sighting of one of these animals in the wild. After spotting the first signs of the animals - footprints and eaten fish - otter spotters Stijn Nollen, Atze van der Groot, and urban ecologist Koen Wonders set up nature cameras and confirmed the otter's presence in the Dutch capital, NH Nieuws reports. "Unbelievable, such a large mammal in the capital," Van der Groot said to the broadcaster.
The otter became extinct throughout the Netherlands in 1977. The last time one was spotted in Amsterdam was in 1963. In 2002, otters were released in Weeribben in Overijssel, after which the animal started to gain territory. And now at least one otter is in Amsterdam's nature reserve, Diemer Vijfhoek.
To determine precisely how many otters have settled in Diemer Vijfhoek, the spotters will send the otter droppings they find to Wageningen for DNA research.
Otters can grow to be 1.5 meters tall. But according to the spotters, Amsterdam residents don't have to be afraid of them. "They can bite, but they don't," Nollen said to NH Nieuws. It is unlikely that Amsterdam residents will even encounter the animals. "They are timid, so you won't encounter them much. But if you pay attention, you may see one swimming at night."