Image - European otter

Otter, European (Lutra lutra; Ukrainian: vydra). A predatory mammal of the weasel family Mustelidae. The otter has a lithe, slender body, long neck, flattened head, small ears, and short, webbed paws. It grows to up to 70 cm in length and weighs up to 10 kg. Its waterproof fur is shiny, dense, and short, dark brown on the outside and grayish inside. Otters are intelligent, inquisitive, and playful animals. They swim easily and travel considerable distances under water without surfacing for air. They feed on small aquatic animals and live in burrows along riverbanks and lakeshores. They can be found throughout Ukraine, with the exception of the Crimea. The otter's valuable fur makes it a commercially important animal. Because of widespread extermination in the past, hunting for otters is licensed.

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