• Kyodo

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Japan was found to be the top destination for otters recovered in Southeast Asia between 2015 and 2017 after capture for intended smuggling, according to a recent survey by a wildlife monitoring group, with experts pointing to their growing popularity as pets in the nation as one factor behind the trend.

Of the 59 otters recovered during the three-year period, 32 — all found in Thailand — were set to be sent to Japan, the international organization Traffic said.

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