SALT LAKE CITY -- A 13-pound river otter captured in northeastern Utah will be a pioneer in establishing an otter population in the western part of the state.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources plans to release the female Wednesday afternoon into the Provo River near Jordanelle Reservoir.
A dozen or so will follow in the coming months in the state's first attempt in years to establish a new river otter population.
The female was captured along the Green River on Tuesday and will be implanted with a tracking device before its release.
Once widespread across Utah, river otters are now a fairly rare sight, mostly because of disturbances to rivers and streams over the last century.
A state-run reintroduction program launched 20 years ago on the Green River has yielded a population of around 300.
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