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De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dutch seized by ottermania

An otter is at the centre of a media frenzy in the Netherlands. The animal, which was thought to be dead after being hit by a vehicle on a motorway, has now recovered. The hype is symptomatic for the "re-otterisation" of the country, columnist Bert Wagendorp jokes in the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant: "The times when you could peacefully go about your business as an otter in this country are a thing of the past. Behind every modern otter are two public servants, three scientists and four members of this or that otter association. ... We can't just go and get 31 otters from Poland, let them go free here and watch what happens. The re-otterisation of the Netherlands has been regulated by law, planned and carried out with the precision of a military operation. ... Everything in this country must be doable, including nature. The otter cannot be allowed to make a mess of things by letting itself get run over and then dying out again. Its presence is the jewel in the crown of our environmental policy."

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