Reports of this animal’s demise were otter nonsense.
A wild giant river otter feared to be extinct in Argentina was recently spotted swimming in the country’s Bermejo River, according to local conservationists.
“It was a huge surprise,” Sebastián Di Martino, director of conservation at Fundación Rewilding Argentina told The Guardian.
“I was incredulous. An incredible feeling of so much happiness,” Di Martino said of the sighting. “I didn’t know if I should try to follow it or rush back to our station to tell the others.”
A Giant River Otter seen in El Impenetrable National Park!
The @RewildingArg team spotted this otter, considered extinct in Argentina, in the Bermejo River, #Chaco Province. This great news brings new urgency to expand the Park to protect this species! #rewildingtheamericas pic.twitter.com/WT46vz39Wy
— Tompkins Conservation Global (@TompkinsRewild) May 24, 2021
The species, officially called Pteronura brasiliensis, had not been seen in the South American country since the 1980s, with the last sighting in Bermejo recorded more than a century ago, according to the report.
Di Martino reportedly spotted the otter while kayaking in Impenetrable National Park, located in the Chaco province of northeast Argentina.
“We grabbed the cell phone and started filming it, when he poked his body out of the water and showed the unmistakable white bib, we had no doubts, it was a giant river otter,” Di Martino told Gizmodo.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Jesse O’Neill