Highlands & Islands

Otter spotted in Japan for first time in 38 years

Otter spotted in Japan Image copyright University of the Ryukyus
Image caption An image of the otter spotted in Japan

An otter has been spotted in Japan for the first time in almost four decades, according a Scottish charity assisting Japanese conservationists.

The last confirmed sighting of an otter was 38 years ago and the animals were declared extinct on the Japanese islands in 2012.

The Skye-based International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) has been helping prepare a reintroduction of otters.

It said a Japanese scientist spotted the otter.

The sighting was made on the island of Tsushima in the Nagasaki prefecture, which is located between the Korean peninsula and Japan.

IOSF said it had still be confirmed if it was a Japanese otter, which is believed to be a subspecies of the Eurasian otter, or an animal from Korea.

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