Page last updated at 23:14 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 00:14 UK

Help for rare hairy-nosed otter

Otter, Dara (Pic:Conservation International (Cambodia))
Dara has been promised a new pen and regular fish supply

One of the world's rarest otter is receiving help from a Scottish-based wildlife charity.

Dara, a male hairy-nosed otter, is the only one of his species to be kept legally in captivity.

The International Otter Survival Fund (Isof) on Skye has an agreement with Phnom Tamau Zoo and Wildlife Rescue Centre in Cambodia to fund his care.

Dara had been kept as a fisherman's pet on Tonle Sap Lake, before ending up in a small illegal zoo.

It was shut down by the government and the mammal, along with other animals, was donated to Phnom Tamau Zoo.

Grace Yoxon, of Isof, said the agreement with the centre included providing funds for the care of 10 smooth-coated otters.

She said: "Dara is being built a brand new pen and now a regular fish supply is ensured."

Fur trade

Hairy-nosed otter had previously been thought extinct, but it, along with the smooth-coated, Asian small-clawed and Eurasian otter, were still being hunted in Cambodia.

Fishermen trap the animals to supplement their incomes.

Otters are listed on the database of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

The international agreement between governments aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Isof is backing a campaign to help end the illegal killing of rare otters in south east Asia and the trade in their furs.

Bid to end rare otter fur trade
21 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands


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