SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) - A rarely seen mammal thought by many to be absent at Lake Tahoe is being spotted again.
U.S. Forest Service fish and wildlife biologist Shay Zanetti says river otters had been known to exist for many decades in the Tahoe basin, but at one point they were only known to exist at Marlette Lake above Tahoe's east shore.
He told the Tahoe Daily Tribune they've since been detected at Fallen Leaf Lake, Secret Harbor and South Lake Tahoe.
Zanetti says very few records of otters in the basin exist and he's unaware of any local studies of them.
Cheryl Millham of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care says she went 25 years without hearing of an otter sighting at Tahoe until resident Bettina McIntyre sent her a picture of one.
McIntyre says she's observed a pair of the animals swimming, splashing and sliding in a lagoon near her home in the Tahoe Keys subdivision in South Lake Tahoe over the last couple of years.