River Otters Make Comeback in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois trappers captured about 2,000 river otters during the first otter-hunting season in decades.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that’s more than expected.
A state biologist attributes the larger-than-predicted numbers to high fur prices. Each river otter pelt brought in about $73.
The 2012-2013 season marked the first time since 1929 that Illinois hunters could trap otters. The animals were once so rare in the state that authorities believed there were less than 100 of them in Illinois before 1990.
But then their numbers rebounded and by 2009, the population was pegged at about 11,000. State officials say this year’s hunt culled about 13 percent of the population.
The trapping season begins in November and lasts for about five months.