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River otters: Hardest-working clowns in the water

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on Sept. 13, 2013, 1:17 p.m.
swimming river otter

Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch

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Trapped for their pelts

River otters are still trapped for their luxurious pelts, but with an eye toward long-term conservation. While the annual harvesting does not impact existing populations, it is possible that it does slow or stop the expansion of populations into former habitat that no longer has river otters. Another issue that slows or stops expansion of otter populations is water pollution and habitat destruction.