The 85-centime stamp was issued on March 2 along with a lynx stamp (one franc), a wolf stamp (1.50 francs), and a bear stamps (two francs). Soon after their release, Pro Lutra representative Irene Weinberger told Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten the baby animal on the stamp was an Asian dwarf otter—not the fish otter, also known as the Eurasian otter.
“Fish otters have clearly visible webbing and claws as young animals. These are missing from the animal on the stamp,” Weinberger told 20 Minuten.
The design of the otter stamp depicts the young Asian dwarf otter (also known as the small-clawed otter) against a blue background. The stamp’s only inscriptions are the denomination (“85”), country name (“HELVETIA”), the designer’s name (“SIMON HOFER”) and year-date (“2017”).
APOLOGY, BUT NO RECALL
A story published by Linn’s Stamp News this May suggested Swiss Post “clearly intended to show the fish otter (Lutra lutra), also known as the Eurasian otter.”
“For example, in its new-issue bulletin for collectors, Focus, Swiss Post mentioned that ‘otters used to be found living on the banks of practically every stretch of water in Switzerland,’ but had become extinct in the country in the 20th century due to overhunting. It also noted that attempts were being made to reintroduce this otter,” reads the Linn’s report.
A Swiss Post representative has since apologized for the error; however, she added the Asian dwarf otter stamp will remain on sale for the duration of the Baby Animals set’s limited-edition run, which ends next March.