Recent river otter sightings in Vallejo provide hope for species

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- Recent otter sightings in Vallejo have some hoping it's a sign they are making a comeback after nearly being driven out of existence.

Darius Thomas says he spotted a river otter in Lake Chabot. "You see them chasing fish. You rarely see them, but you see them every now and again," said Thomas.

The Marin-based River Otter Ecology Project has been keeping track of sightings around the Bay Area. Their map shows at least three sightings at Lake Chabot recently, and more reports from more than 1,700 spotters dating back to September.

Lake Chabot visitor Jimmy sees the sightings as a positive. "Probably a good sign that the environment is improving," he said.

The otters were nearly wiped out by hunting, and pollution in the 1960's before protections were put in place.

Click here for more information on the River Otter Ecology Project.

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