FINDLAY - A male river otter recently was discovered by a trapper in Putnam County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. The otter was found along the Auglaize River, near Cloverdale.
This is the first verified report of an otter in Putnam County in recent history.
It was discovered in a raccoon snare along the river bank. Snares and foothold taps do not cause captured animals to die. They hold the animal until the trapper returns. Unfortunately, with all the recent rains, the Auglaize River flooded and the river otter drowned.
Because Putnam County is closed to trapping for river otters, the trapper turned over the animal to the Division of Wildlife.
River otters are native to Ohio. However, they were absent from the state by the 1900s. In 1986, the Division of Wildlife began a seven-year reintroduction program for river otters.
In total, 123 river otters were captured and relocated from Arkansas and Louisiana using modern foothold traps. The otters were released in the Grand River, Killbuck Creek, Little Muskingum River and Stillwater Creek. Since then, otters have been seen in two-thirds of Ohio's counties.