This animal papercraft is designed by Yamaha papercraft. The Japanese river otter is a variety of otter formerly widespread in Japan. Dating back to the 1880s, it was even seen in Tokyo. The population suddenly shrank in the 1930s, and the mammal nearly vanished. Since then, it has only been spotted several times, in 1964 in the Seto Inland Sea, and in the Uwa Sea in 1972 and 1973. The last official sighting of one was in the southern part of Kochi Prefecture in 1979, when it was photographed in the mouth of the Shinjo River in Susaki. While it is considered extinct, it is yet classified as a "Critically Endangered" species in the Japanese Red List. It is the official animal symbol of Ehime Prefecture.
Fully grown, a Japanese otter is between 65 and 80 cm (25–31 in) long, with a tail measuring 45–50 cm (17–20 in). It has a thick, lush coat of dark brown fur with short webbed feet.
A nocturnal creature, an otter only leaves its den after dark to forage for food. Claiming a territory about ten miles in diameter, it marks the area with its droppings about one to three miles apart and sets up three or four nests under rocks or inside bushes. An otter is always on the move, visiting each den only once every three to four days.
Like most otters, the Japanese river otter is not an especially picky eater. While it primarily feeds on fish, crab, and shrimp; it will also eat eels, beetles, watermelons, and sweet potatoes.
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