A species of giant otter previously thought to be extinct has been spotted in a river in Argentina.
According to Fundación Rewilding Argentina, a wild giat river otter was spotted at the Bermejo River in El Impentrable National Park.
It’s the first reported sighting of the otter since the 1980s, and the first one to be spotted in the Bermejo River in over 100 years.
Up until its recent sighting, conservationists believed the otter had gone extinct in Argentina due to habitat loss and hunting, but there’s now hope for the species!
According to The Guardian, the director of conservation at Fundación Rewilding Argentina, Sebastián Di Martino, saw the otter while he was out kayaking. He said, “It was a huge surprise. I was incredulous. An incredible feeling of so much happiness. I didn’t know if I should try to follow it or rush back to our station to tell the others.”
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He further spoke with the publication about how the otter made its way to the river, and there are two possible explanations.
He said, “The closest known populations of giant otter, which is endangered globally, are in the Paraguayan Pantanal, which could connect with this river from a distance of over 1,000km. That’s the simplest explanation.”
He continued to say that it’s possible there’s been a small population of the otters in Argentina that have been living undetected for all these years.
They believe the first scenario is most likely the case, but they won’t know for sure until further research is conducted.Whizzco