Otters revive in UK
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otterThe new findings represent a remarkable reversal of fortunes for both species. After escaping from fur farms in the late 1950s, mink spread throughout Britain and earned the reputation as one of the country's most reviled species. Widely blamed for decimating Britain's water vole population, mink were able to exploit a collapse in otter numbers in the 1950s and 1960s. The otter was almost wiped out in England by the build-up of toxic organo-phosphate pesticidesin the food chain. But now, thanks to tougher water purity and pesticide regulations, and Government-funded reintroduction projects, otters are getting the upper hand. Otter populations today are up to about 4,000 and the much larger animal is out-competing mink for food and territory. In one incident, a naturalist in Northumbria witnessed an otter attacking and killing a mink.