- Associated Press - Saturday, November 14, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Researchers are keeping tabs on the comings and goings of a river otter in the Forest Preserves of Cook County thanks to a surgically implanted transmitter.

Wildlife biologists from the forest preserves and the Chicago Zoological Society are hoping to learn about the behavior of the animals in urban areas.

Otters were nearly extinct in Illinois a century ago. A decade of reintroduction efforts helped reverse their decline.

Forest preserve senior wildlife biologist Chris Anchor says otters are now found in all Cook County watersheds, but in very low numbers.

By tracking the otter’s movements, researchers hope to better understand what challenges the animals face.

They may also be able to better focus habitat restoration efforts on areas that can benefit the animals.

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