It is said that those possessed by otters lose their stamina as if their soul has been extracted. For many years, it was thought that the Japanese river otter was a subspecies of the Eurasian otter Lutra lutra. Lucky, a 22-year-old male sea otter at Suma Aqualife Park Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, is now believed to be the country's oldest sea otter in captivity, Notojima Aquarium and other sources said. However, it is not known whether the observed otter was a Japanese river otter. Another relatively popular pet fad in Japan is the practice of keeping otters as pets. Thank you for watching my channel!! Also found were three footprints, and ten additional excrement samples. [28] In places like the Hokuriku region, Kii, and Shikoku, the otters are seen as a type of kappa. In addition, the males sought out the females in the reproduction process. 37 (2): 71 - 79 Keywords: Disease, Management of wildlife, Veterinary, Wildlife law, Welfare INTRODUCTION As many articles report, otters are becoming one of the most popular animals in Japan these days (New York Times, 2019). [36], In China, like in Japan, there are stories where otters shapeshift into beautiful women in old books like In Search of the Supernatural and the Zhenyizhi (甄異志). Cruel Reality Of ‘Otter Craze’ Sweeping Across Japan The cruel reality of the ‘otter craze’ – which has seen otters taken from their natural habitat to work in cafes – has been highlighted in these images as it sweeps across Tokyo. Japan hosts at least one free-roaming river otter, but it’s not likely the country’s endemic variety, which was last documented decades ago and has been “officially” extinct since 2012. Since a TV program in Japan in 2014, the popularity of otters has spiked leading to a boom in the number of otter cafes. Claiming a territory about ten miles in diameter, it marked the area with its droppings about one to three miles apart and sets up three or four nests under rocks or inside bushes. [29], In the kaidan, essays, and legends of the Edo period like the "Urami Kanawa" (裏見寒話),[30] "Taihei Hyaku Monogatari" (太平百物語), and the "Shifu Goroku" (四不語録), there are tales about strange occurrences like otters that shapeshift into beautiful women and kill men. The European otter has been here for millions of years; it is a member of the Mustelid family, which also includes the badger, mink, weasels, stoats, martens and polecats, and is the only truly semi-aquatic member of the weasel family. Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and mars… [14] Dr. Machida also pointed that the previous studies by the prefecture had been restricted only among coastal areas and thus not filling the definition of extinct species by IUCN. Otters can sell for thousands of dollars in Japan, which encourages networks of farmers, hunters and traffickers to steal cubs from the wild, shooting or electrocuting their protective parents. Animal pelts thus became very valuable since they could be exported for money. This allowed them to adjust to the seasons changing. Yoshihiro Kataoka, 72, who published a photobook of sea otters around the cape, speculates that sea otters in the Northern Territories — as Japan calls four Russian-held islands off … Otters are smelly, loud and extremely active; they have sharp teeth and jaws strong enough to crack open shellfish. In December 1991, the Environmental Agency of Japan in partnership with the Kochi prefectural government assembled a research team of experts and began their search. In Japanese, they are called “kawauso” . [35], In an Ainu folktale, in Urashibetsu (in Abashiri, Hokkaido), there are stories where monster otters shapeshift into humans, go into homes where there are beautiful girls, and try to kill the girl and make her its wife. Populations made a slight comeback after the creation of hunting regulations. In Japan's never ending quest to create the most unconventional cafes, a shop in the trendy Harajuku district of Tokyo is pushing the boundaries by introducing a trio of small-clawed otters for their pet-loving customers. Some are almost exclusively aquatic, like the sea otters that live in the Pacific ocean, and some spend more than half their time on land, like the giant otter that lives in the tropical rain-forests of South America. [17], The Japanese river otter was named the official animal symbol of Japan's Ehime Prefecture, a region of Japan in northwestern Shikoku. It is distributed from the Kuril Islands located in Japan, to the Commander islands of the in the Western Pacific. The European otter has been here for millions of years; it is a member of the Mustelid family, which also includes the badger, mink, weasels, stoats, martens and polecats, and is the only truly semi-aquatic member of the weasel family. Throughout the 1990s, there were several attempts to locate a surviving Japanese river otter. In a similar vein, an old Anglo-Saxon name for the otter was the ‘water-snake’. Their numbers soon dwindled. If she does not, the male would move onto the next female otter. Now only single animals are recorded off Japan and the Asian population is declining. In a new documentary, British environmentalist and photojournalist Aaron Gekoski worked with World Animal Protection, an international nonprofit organization, to investigate the state of these animals. When Aty's body is dirty, such as after returning from a walk, I wash like this. "From my experience, I can fairly say Yakuza is involved here." The female otter makes for a great mother; nursing her young for up to eight hours a day, as well as teaching them valuable lessons and protecting them. The otters whimper, shriek and make distress calls while customers are interacting with them. Some are kept in solitary conditions with no natural light. In addition the river otter has two types/sets of fur. It is also something which could see a rise in other countries if the wrong information is spread. Group Bull. The name for the Japanese river otter was then changed from L. l. whiteleyi to Lutra nippon. [ALSO READ: … Jul 30, 2020. [9] The otter had a lifespan of up to 25 years. There are 12 species of otters, (13 until the Japanese river otter was declared extinct in only 2012), found all over the world except Australia and Antarctica. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. However, where have the otters come from, when Japanese river otters have been extinct since 40 years ago? Otter Facts and Information. This video is a reserved video. Since a TV program in Japan in 2014, the popularity of otters has spiked leading to a boom in the number of otter cafes. [2] On August 28, 2012, the Japanese river otter was officially declared extinct by the Ministry of the Environment. Beginning in the early 20th century, the otter pelts were used for military purposes as well. They live in freshwater wetlands and mangrove swamps in Southern Asia. Group Bull. A river otter was last spotted in 1979 in the western Japan city of Susaki, Kochi Prefecture. OTTERS IN JAPAN VOL0 (uchikawashuppan) (Japanese Edition) eBook: DONDON: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store Select Your Cookie Preferences We use cookies and similar tools to enhance your shopping experience, to provide our services, understand how customers use our services so we can make improvements, and display ads. Between March 4 and 9, 1996, a group of zoo officials, municipal government officials and animals lovers from across the country searched for the river otter in the areas where finds have been made in the past. In Japanese folklore, they fool humans like the fox (kitsune) and tanuki. Would it require witchcraft for an otter to stay alive like that? In Japan, where more than a dozen animal cafes have otters, investigators found otters whimpering, shrieking and making distress calls while customers played with them. "[27][28] There are darker stories, such as one from Kaga Province (now Ishikawa Prefecture) in which an otter that lives in the castle's moat shapeshifts into a woman, invites males, and then kills and eats them. Native otters are hunted for their fur and are often regulated in this category. However, the studies done in Kochi University revealed something different. After an analysis of a cross-section of the hair, the researchers determined that it came from an otter. They are sometimes found in northern Hokkaido (Japan) having strayed down from the nearby Russian Kuril islands. It is said that they shapeshift into bōzu (a kind of monk) and appear before passers-by, and if the passer-by tries to get close and look up, its height steadily increases until it becomes a large bōzu. Ask any of these cafes and they will claim that their otters are legally bred and bought in Japan. They perform pranks like extinguishing the fire of the paper lanterns of people who walk on roads at night, shapeshifting into a beautiful woman of 18 or 19 years of age and fooling people, or tricking people and making them try to engage in sumo against a rock or a tree stump. Ask any of these cafes and they will claim that their otters are legally bred and bought in Japan. They were considered an adult after only one year. July 30, 2014 araho. <, "Red List of Threatened Mammals of Japan", Trends in otter-related newspaper articles in Japan over 135 years, "Sociality in river otters: cooperative foraging or reproductive strategies? Japan hosts at least one free-roaming river otter, but it’s not likely the country’s endemic variety, which was last documented decades ago and has been “officially” extinct since 2012. "Police have initiated an investigation to uncover the connection of mafia or swindlers in this importing operation," the undercover investigator said in the documentary. Here are three that include information on the 1921-1941: "Japanese Ceramics of the Last … Problems. [7] However, this reclassification is not yet generally accepted in the absence of further verification. Tokyo, Japan, 19th October 2018 —a boom in demand for otters as pets in Japan, particularly the Small-clawed Otter, has been linked to rising numbers of “otter cafés”, high-profile television programmes featuring otters and celebrities, and the popularity of otter … Even so, pollution and human development then harmed their environm… The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) ... Their historic range included shallow waters of the Bering Strait and Kamchatka, and as far south as Japan. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is the only truly marine otter found in Asia and used to be found on the coast of Japan. Naoshima and Teshima: Art and architecture in the Inland Sea. Animal pelts thus became very valuable since they could be exported for money. The Japanese otter was known as one of the top carnivores in the aquatic food chain. Lutrinae is a branch of the Mustelidae family, which also includes weasels, badgers, mink, and wolverines, among other animals. Awaken slowly on your high fibreglass kayak (or on a stand-up paddle board, if you prefer) to the morning mew of the playful otters near the calm, kelpy waters. Web. Populations made a slight comeback after the creation of hunting regulations. These creatures are large and have a wide skull with short nasal bones. IUCN Otter Spec. Otters sometimes swim single file as a family group, and it has been suggested that this might account for some of the Loch Ness Monster sightings! They discovered remains of the animal's urine, which the animal is believed to leave during its courtship. Sea otters have about 26,000 to 165,000 hairs per square centimeters of skin, a rich fur for which humans hunted them almost to extinction. Japan has an abundance of natural wonders. West Coast Expeditions, located on Vancouver Island offers a 5-day kayaking expedition with sea otters tour. Unfortunately, this fad has lead to the illegal smuggling of otters into Japan. World Animal Protection believes the otter trade in Japan has ties to Yakuza, an organized crime network in Japan. [32] They are also said to shapeshift into severed heads and get caught in fishing nets. Exotic Pets. In the Noto region, Ishikawa Prefecture, there are stories where they shapeshift into beautiful women or children wearing checker-patterned clothing. Many otters spend around six hours to find food because of their difficult living space and their competition for food. In Japan, there are more than a dozen animal cafes featuring otters. The average otter is 1–1.3 metres in length, and weighs up to 9kg. However, it is not known whether the observed otter was a Japanese river otter. Out of 59 otters … But currently, only six sea otters are being raised at four aquariums. [34] In the KagakushÅ«, a dictionary from the Muromachi period, an otter that grew old becomes a kappa. the Iwakan" on Oct. 12 evening. In Japan, where more than a dozen animal cafes have otters, investigators found otters whimpering, shrieking and making distress calls while customers played with them. However, where have the otters come from, when Japanese river otters have been extinct since 40 years ago? Sushi comes in many forms. Classed as “Endangered”. Tokyo, Japan, 19th October 2018—a boom in demand for otters as pets in japan, particularly the Small-clawed Otter, has been linked to rising numbers of “otter cafés”, high-profile television programmes featuring otters and celebrities, and the popularity of otter pet “superstars” on social media platforms. The prefectural government of Kochi set up an infrared camera for six months from October 1994 to April 1995 in an effort to capture it on film, but all that was recorded were animals such as raccoon dogs. [33], In the Ishikawa and Kochi Prefectures, they are said to be a type of kappa, and there are stories told about how they engage in sumo with otters. This is Harry Zoo, an incredibly cute animal cafe in the heart of the Harajuku district in Tokyo. A wild otter was caught on film on Nagasaki Prefecture’s Tsushima Island in February, marking the first sighting of the mammal in Japan in 38 years, a University of … [12] Even so, pollution and human development then harmed their environment and resources to build their habitats. Otters are rare as pets, so you shouldn’t even rely on second-hand information from other exotic pet owners. Video shows the otters lounging and … Among these, the presumed sighting reported in Kochi by a local artist with a detailed sketch was regarded "highly trustable" by Yoshihiko Machida, an emeritus professor at the Kōchi University in 2009. Otters are a popular animal in Japanese folklore where they are called “kawauso“. [31], In the Tsugaru region, Aomori Prefecture, they are said to possess humans. Situation of Pet Otters in Japan – Warning by Vets. A wild otter was caught on film on Nagasaki Prefecture’s Tsushima Island in February, marking the first sighting of the mammal in Japan in 38 years, a University of … Otters were widely distributed in Japan until the early 20th century. River otters at a Japanese zoo used a water slide Wednesday to cool down during a summer heatwave. [10] These causes grew rapidly, resulting in the extinction of the Japanese river otter in the late 20th century.[13]. IUCN Otter Spec. Play with cute little otters in Tokyo! Next, take a deep whiff of your freshly brewed morni… Our daily life channel update are on every day! Out of 59 otters … Such illegal trafficking is detrimental to wild populations of animals worldwide. Tokyo is a major draw and often tops a lot of people’s list of must-dos, but the capital city is not the only reason Japan is such a popular country to visit. 1). Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. The British otter is also known as the European otter because of its vast geographical distribution. ", http://www.otter-world.com/otter-reproduction/, "Japanese River Otter Declared Extinct After Three Decades", "Wild otter filmed alive in first Japan sighting since 1979", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Japanese_river_otter&oldid=981484396, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 2 October 2020, at 16:06. In the past, there were thousands of river otters in Japan. The Japanese river otter (Japanese: ニホンカワウソ(日本川獺 ー, Hepburn: Nihon-kawauso) (Lutra lutra whiteleyi)[1] is an extinct variety of otter formerly widespread in Japan. Tokyo, Japan, 19th October 2018—a boom in demand for otters as pets in Japan, particularly the Small-clawed Otter, has been linked to rising numbers of “otter cafés”, high-profile television programmes featuring otters and celebrities, and the popularity of otter pet “superstars” on social media platforms. [8], Fully grown, a Japanese river otter was between 65 and 80 cm (25.5 and 31.5 in) long, with a tail measuring 45 to 50 cm (17.5 to 19.5 in). After the pups are around the age of four months, the mother otter will introduce her youth to solid food and start to teach them how to hunt.[11]. [6], Several genetic studies have suggested that the Japanese river otter should be treated as a distinct species Lutra nippon rather than a subspecies of Lutra lutra. Prostitution in modern Japan, as defined under Japanese law, is the illegal practice of sexual intercourse with an 'unspecified' (unacquainted) person in exchange for monetary compensation, which was criminalised in 1965 by the introduction of article 3 of the Anti-Prostitution Law (売春防止法, Baishun Bōshi Hō). This pollution terminated their food sources in the rivers, causing them to hunt in more dangerous settings. While it all involves rice prepared with sushi vinegar, it doesn’t all include raw fish. Japanese fan finds otters in the rain. BioExpedition.com, n.d. Japan is home to tons of animal cafés, many of which charge visitors to pet and spend time with Asian small-clawed otters, a threatened species. Many of these Japanese otters eat about 15% to 25% of their own body weight. The Sea Otter is the only true marine otter of all the otter and they can dive up to 40metres to catch their prey. Their numbers soon dwindled. Japan attracts almost thirty million visitors a year. By Melissa A Smith. Each animal at these otter cafes is suffering for the sake of entertainment. Exotic Pets. The aquarium will exhibit photos of Rasuka in its sea otter tank area until Sept. 27, with visitors allowed to lay flowers. They would then venture on their own, but continue in solitude unless ready to mate. [5], A nocturnal creature, an otter only left its den after dark to forage for food. Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. People in Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, and elsewhere can pay thousands of … [5], "Otter Reproduction." In the past, there were thousands of river otters in Japan. [28] It is said that they speak human words, and sometimes people are called and stopped while walking on roads. Find out more . Days 11 & 12. Tokyo, Japan, 19th October 2018—a boom in demand for otters as pets in japan, particularly the Small-clawed Otter, has been linked to rising numbers of “otter cafés”, high-profile television programmes featuring otters and celebrities, and the popularity of otter pet “superstars” on social media platforms. According to the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, based in Tokyo, at their peak in 1994 there were 122 sea otters at 28 facilities around the country. In March 1992, the research group found hair and excrement in Kochi Prefecture and believed to have come from an otter. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae. Like all river otters, they have long, thin bodies which helped them to swim and glide through the water at speeds of up to seven miles per hour. The last official sighting was in the southern part of Kōchi Prefecture in 1979, when it was photographed in the mouth of the Shinjo River in Susaki. Find more Japanese words at wordhippo.com! Since the mid-1990s, the majority of Japanese people are of the Shinto or Buddhist faith. After the Occupation, Japan and Made in Japan were implemented again. Its scientific name is Emhydra Lutris Lutris Linneo, and it is also called Asian sea otter. Melissa A Smith. A good place to start checking for information on pet otter laws is under ‘fur-bearing’ terms. Captive otters are often traded internationally, and significant numbers of illegally traded otters end up in Japan, where they become home pets or populate otter cafes. Good place to start checking for information on pet otter laws is under ‘fur-bearing’ terms hunt in dangerous! Because of their own body weight and are often regulated in this category offers a 5-day kayaking with! 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