A photo posted on Facebook has Wareham residents wondering just how prevalent river otters are in town, as more and more wildlife seems to be making a comeback.

On Monday, January 5, a photo of a deceased river otter was posted in a Wareham Facebook group along with the caption “Saw this guy in the middle of the road on Tihonet Rd. Had to move this beautiful animal to the side. Wareham has river otters.”

In the comments under the post, many town residents were talking about the amount of river otters in Wareham waters.

“Lots, especially up Glen Charlie Road,” wrote Sean Lawrence.

“Sure do, I’ve seen them off of Glen Charlie for years now,” echoed Dylan Towne.

“They seem to be making a big comeback,” Craig Elwood wrote.

I was driving with my husband the other day and we smooshed 1 of those,” Kelliegh Adams wrote.

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We reached out to the Wareham Department of Natural Resources to find out just how often river otters are spotted around town, and if there is a concern that some may be in the roadways.

“In all honesty, and I’ve been the senior animal control officer for 14 years, I don’t think I’ve seen many of them,” said Cheryl Gorveatt.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Gorveatt said although they are in the waters around town, they’re less likely to be in the roadway so she hasn’t had to come across many of them.

“This might be the first one I’ve personally dealt with,” she said. “Them being in the roadway would not be the normal circumstances.”

She speculated that perhaps a coyote had caught it, was walking across the street, and a car came along and spooked it, causing it to drop its prey.

Although river otters might not be a commonly encountered creature, more wildlife is reappearing across the area. Turkeys are now a common site, bald eagles are spotted in the skies, and of course there have been a few black bear sightings as of late.

“It’s the second bear we’ve had reports of,” Gorveatt said. “And sometimes we get reports of bobcats, although they’re not common. I haven’t personally encountered a bobcat, but I did see prints that could have potentially belonged to a large cat.”

She also shared a photo of a shark she recently picked up.

Courtesy Wareham Animal Control
Courtesy Wareham Animal Control

“I picked it up last week on the beach at Little Harbor,” she said. “I’m not sure if it’s a sand shark or not, but it was deceased and probably a good three and a half to four feet long.”

Gorveatt warned that whether it be river otters, sharks or anything else, the same rule always applies: just leave it alone, and we can all peacefully co-exist.

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