Like most otters, the Japanese river otters are not particularly fussy eaters. While it mainly eats fish, crab and shrimp; It also eats eel, beetle, watermelon, and sweet potatoes. Many Japanese otters of this species eat about 15% to 25% of their body weight. Many otters spend about six hours searching for food because of their difficult living space and competition for food. The Japanese otter is known to be one of the top predators in the underwater food chain.
In the past, there were thousands of river otters in Japan. Beginning in the Meiji era, the Japanese government adopted a policy of increasing wealth and military might. Consequently, animal pellets become very valuable because they can be exported for money. As a result, Japanese river otters began to be hunted across the country. The number of this species rapidly decreased. The populations have returned a bit after the creation of hunting rules. Even so, water pollution and human development subsequently harm the environment and resources to build their habitats. This pollution has depleted their food sources on rivers, causing them to hunt in more dangerous places. These causes developed rapidly, leading to the extinction of the Japanese river otters in the late 20th century.
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