The giant otter is a carnivorous mammal native to South America. It is a social animal that lives with family groups, supporting up to eight members. They are mostly seen in freshwater rivers and streams that are seasonally flooded. Sometimes, these animals are also spotted in freshwater lakes and springs.

               The primary cause of the decline of the giant otter population is poaching. They have been hunted for decades, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s, bringing their number to less than 5000. It is the velvety pelt that makes a giant otter an attractive target. Besides, the animals are extremely easy to hunt as they are active throughout the day. And by nature, otters are inquisitive and fearless towards human beings. This makes it even worse for them.

               Other factors are habitat loss and degradation caused by mining, logging, and over-fishing. Quite a lot of giant otters are killed by fishermen who consider them to be a menace.

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