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River Otter Comeback In Illinois Successful

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(GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

(GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX/IRN) – Did you know there’s a resurgence of the river otter in Illinois and the animal is no longer considered endangered.

“River otters were rare in Illinois,or have been since about the early- to mid-1800s,” says Bob Bluett, a wildlife biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources who worked on the project.

“In 1994 through 1997, we purchased river otters from Louisiana, 346 of them, and released them in Central and Southeastern Illinois. Today we estimate the population is about11,000 to 15,000, and growing steadily.”

So many in fact that there will be a trapping-season in Illinois for the first time since 1929. It begins Nov. 5 in the northern half of the state and Nov. 10 in the southern half.

River Otters have streamlined bodies, webbed feet and long tapered tails.
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(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Illinois Radio Network contributed to this report.)

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