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River otters: Hardest-working clowns in the water

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

Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch

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Where did everybody go?

An examination of river otter populations in 1980 showed that the species had been wiped out in 11 states, and had drastic declines in nine more. However, conservation had started four years earlier, in 1976, after many had already noticed the severely dwindling numbers and began programs for reintroducing otters into former habitat.