Recently, Japan’s Ministry of the Environment announced that the nation’s native river otter is now extinct. The species is said to have died out due to excessive hunting and development, forcing the otters to abandon their homes. Japan has already lost two species of wolves and bats and the Japanese sea lion. The river otter, once a common animal, was last seen in 1979 on in Susaki on Shikoku Island. Sought for their fur, Japanese river otters, up until the point of extinction, were in high demand. Numerous expeditions took place in the 90s to search for the mammal, but all proved unsuccessful.
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