River otters making a comeback in Nebraska

(Nebraska Game and Parks)

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) — River otters, once endangered in Nebraska, are making a comeback.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reintroduction program that started three decades about is restoring a species that were a common part of the Nebraska landscape before they were wiped out by unregulated trapping or hunting in the early 1900s.

Today, the river otter is on the verge of being removed from Nebraska's list of threatened species. Estimates indicate there are more than 5,000 otters in the state.

River otters were live-trapped primarily in Alaska and Louisiana and transported to Nebraska from 1986 to 1991. Release sites were the Platte, Niobrara, South Loup, Elkhorn, Calamus and Cedar Rivers.

Biologists monitoring the critters found that their range has been expanding and their survival is high.

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