MNN Galleries

15 fascinating facts about otters

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on Sept. 20, 2016, 11:58 a.m.
The hairy-nosed otter is the rarest otter in Asia.

Photo: IOSF1957 [CC BY-SA 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons

7 of 17

The rarest otter of them all

So, if nearly all of the otter species are vulnerable to extinction, you may be wondering which is the most threatened. Nope, it isn't the sea otter. It is the hairy-nosed otter. This small species found in Asia is so rare that it was actually thought to be extinct up until 1998. It was only then that small populations were discovered, including one population found in Malaysia in 2010, using remote camera traps. It was thought to be gone from that region for the last century. The species still exists, but barely. Only around 86 or so hairy-nosed otters are thought to still live in southeast Asia.