A giant river otter that was thought to be extinct for decades has been rediscovered in Argentina. Conservationists at Fundación Rewilding noticed the otter swimming in the Bermejo River in Impenetrable National Park which is in Argentina’s Chaco province.
The giant river otter, which is called Pteronura brasiliensis, hasn’t been seen since the 1980s. Furthermore, it hadn’t been spotted in that specific river in over a hundred years.
Sebastián Di Martino, who is the director of conservation at local group Tompkins Conservation, described the excitement they felt when they spotted the creature long thought to be extinct, “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. We could not believe it, the record is incredible and how that specimen got here [raises] thousands of questions.”
So, how did it end up back in Argentina? Di Martino stated that the otter might have come back from the Paraguayan Pantanal or perhaps it was there in Argentina all along and nobody noticed it. Nevertheless, it is incredibly great news that the giant river otter is back and will hopefully continue to thrive.
Pictures of the otter can be seen here and a video of it swimming can be viewed here.
In other related news, a vulture that was thought to be extinct in Israel for over 30 years has been witnessed twice in a month. The Torgos tracheliotos negevensis, which is a subspecies of the lappet-faced vulture, hadn’t been seen since 1989 but was recently witnessed twice at the Hai Bar Nature Reserve at Yotvata.
In an interview with The Times of Israel, Yehoshua Shkedy explained that the vulture has a wingspan of 2.9 meters (9.5 feet) with a bald pink head.
Another discovery was made in April of this year when a white-backed vulture was spotted over the Og streambed. This species is known to be critically endangered. It seems as though the number of vultures in Israel are starting to rise again which is very good news.
Pictures of these vultures can be seen here.