En­dan­gered species of sea ot­ters fly into France

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

A pair of jet­lagged sea ot­ters ar­rived in France on Fri­day af­ter a 9,000-kilo­me­tre flight from Alaska to their new home at a sea life park. The ot­ters, an en­dan­gered species hunted to near ex­tinc­tion be­cause of their highly prized fur, are na­tive to the shal­low coastal wa­ters of the north Pa­cific. The two males, named Matchaq and Tangiq, looked re­lieved to take a cool bath in a quarantine cen­tre in France af­ter spend­ing 15 hours aboard a pri­vate jet char­tered spe­cially for the jour­ney.

They will go on show at the Ocea­nop­o­lis sea life cen­tre in the city of Brest in north­west France, which brought an­other three sea ot­ters to France last June from Alaska. Only one of them has sur­vived. Their trans­fer from the SeaLife Cen­ter in Alaska was part of a con­ser­va­tion ef­fort for sea ot­ters that have been cared for in cap­tiv­ity and can­not be re­leased into the wild.

The mam­mal is still con­sid­ered en­dan­gered, even though a hunt­ing ban has helped their num­bers re­bound to an es­ti­mated 126,000 world­wide, ac­cord­ing to the International Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture. Thanks to their thick fur, the vo­ra­cious eaters are able to spend much of their lives in the water prey­ing on crus­taceans and small fish-while try­ing to avoid hun­gry killer whales.—AFP

—AP

FRANCE: A sea ot­ter pic­tured at the Ocea­nop­o­lis cen­tre in Brest, west­ern France, on De­cem­ber 9, 2016.

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