Shedd Aquarium lost one of its most enchanting family members today when the animal care and animal health teams made the difficult but humane decision to euthanize 21½-year-old North American river otter Rio. Her health and quality of life had deteriorated recently due to her advanced age. Rio exceeded by nearly a decade the known median life expectancy for river otters—12 years according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums—thanks to excellent care, including advances in geriatric veterinary medicine, and her own zest for everything.
47 posts categorized "Animals: Otters"
October 29, 2013
September 28, 2013
September 25, 2013
Think of a game that’s a cross between pinball and pool, using a hollow ball stuffed with shrimp and played by a high-energy sea otter, and you’ve got the latest product dreamed up by Northwestern engineering students for Shedd. Sea otters and trainers agree—this new puzzle is a big winner.
The puzzle is a 44 x 32 x 6-inch box of thick plexiglass that fits into the window opening between the sea otter pup pool and the trainers’ area. On a recent afternoon, Cayucos, an almost-2-year-old southern sea otter, is poised to play. Standing upright on her hind feet on the ledge around the pool, her paws on the puzzle’s front panel, she peers through the clear plexiglass for trainer Lana Vanagasem to start the game.
September 23, 2013
Welcome to Sea Otter Awareness Week, Sept. 22 through 28! To celebrate, we’ll share photos and videos, amaze you with fun facts and take you behind the scenes for glimpses into how we care for—and totally indulge—these littlest of marine mammals.
We got a jump on the week of all things sea otter a few days early when we gave the four otters—male Yaku and females Kiana, Mari and Cayucos—seven, count ’em, seven decorated Sea Otter Awareness Week “cakes” for them to eat, lick, hog, demolish and otherwise enjoy.
August 26, 2013
Every sea otter pup that has found a home at Shedd Aquarium is special, but Kachemak had an impish charm that melted the hearts of trainers, other staff members, volunteers, donors and even jet pilots. Maybe it was because she was the first of Shedd’s sea otters raised from infancy on site.
On Saturday, at the extraordinary age of 23½, Kachemak was quietly put to sleep, releasing her from a rapid decline in the last week from age-related infirmities. She was the oldest sea otter known in any North American aquarium or zoo.
May 17, 2013
May 17 is Endangered Species Day. But we live among threatened and endangered plant and animal species every day. You might see them during a bird walk on the lakefront or on a hike through the Cook County forest preserves. You will see them swimming in Shedd’s exhibits and even growing in our gardens.
March 09, 2013
October 10, 2012
September 28, 2012
September 26, 2012