For the first time in almost 50 years, an otter has been spotted in Amsterdam. Het Parool reports that a man from Amsterdam found some otter tracks in the sand on IJburg and that the Dutch Mammal Society swiftly got involved with the find.
Ecologist Geert Timmermans is absolutely sure that they belong to an otter, an animal that died out in the Netherlands in the 1980s and has slowly been reintroduced to the country since 2002. The specific location of the Amsterdam otter has not been made public because it’s not a good idea to have it descended on by keen visitors but its presence is a sign that the water in Amsterdam is getting cleaner.
Dirty water and traffic both contributed to the otter dying out in the Netherlands but passages under roads that enable otters to cross safely have been installed in lots of places. However, traffic remains the single biggest threat to otters in the Netherlands, who can also be found in places like Flevoland and the Naardermeer.