In a period of just four months — from January to April 2017 — investigators found hundreds of ads offering up to 1,189 otters for sale in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Several dozen live otters were confiscated as they were being trafficked from Thailand to be sold in Japan.
“The fact that so many otters can be so easily acquired and offered for sale to thousands at the click of a button and subjected to little or no regulation is a serious problem,” Kanitha Krishnasamy, acting regional director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia, said. The report recommends several tactics to protect otters, including stronger laws and regulations.
And one of the main ways experts hope to fight this trend is to stop the public's perception of otters as pets where it starts: online.