The return of the otter




Otters are small wild animals, which can live on land and in water. They have brown fur, long bodies with small ears and a long thick tail. They can swim for up to 4 minutes under water without breathing and when they are on land they can run faster than a human. In England the numbers of otters started to reduce between the 1950s and the 1970s because they were hunted and also because of chemicals in the rivers.

Otter hunting was banned in 1978 and many rivers have become less polluted. As a result, the number of wild otters has started to increase.  A recent study showed a 44% increase in otter numbers since 2008. This increase is a big success for people working in wild animal conservation.


fur                               soft hair on animals

to hunt                        to chase and kill a wild animal

banned                        not allowed

animal conservation      protecting animals