SMITHTOWN, NY (AP / WCBS 880) – River otters are making a comeback on Long Island.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story

The otters have rarely been seen in the region for much of the last century due to hunting and pollution to waterways and marshes.

But in recent years, naturalists have spotted the mammals with increasing frequency.

East Hampton biologist Mike Bottini says the otters have staked out territory in Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor, in the tributaries of the Nissequogue River and at East Ends sites from Greenport to East Hampton.

Nissequogue River - Smithtown, NY - Aug 22, 2011 (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

Nissequogue River - Smithtown, NY - Aug 22, 2011 (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

“It’s exciting because it means the river’s alive,” an excited naturist named Judy told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

Bottini said more than half are near North Shore ponds, streams and marshes.

Live sightings of river otters are rare because they are nocturnal creatures whose home ranges can span 35 miles.

Have you spotted any? Let us know below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. eileen says:

    I saw one on Friday 8/19/11 5PM crossing to the southside of 25A ion the Miller Place/ Rocky Point border. at the Little League baseball fields area.

  2. littlastar says:

    Hey I wonder what they taste like ?

  3. Schmellma Arss says:

    Cute little bastid ain’t he!

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