Otter at Tennessee preserve dies after visitor throws food into enclosure: ‘What an awful, needless event’



A river otter at a Tennessee wildlife protect died after guests threw meals into his enclosure final week.

Otto, an otter on the Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium in Kingsport, Tenn., grew to become in poor health Thursday afternoon “after park friends threw meals into his enclosure that his physique couldn’t tolerate,” in line with a Fb publish from the park.


Park Supervisor Rob Cole advised the Kingsport Instances-Information park officers discovered grapes in Otto’s enclosure, although it’s unclear if the otter ate the grapes or one thing else.

“Otto exhibited initially what we thought have been steadiness points,” Cole advised the information outlet. “He wasn’t actual regular on his toes and his situation hasn’t improved, so it was time to verify all is nicely and that Otto could be okay.”

The otter was taken to the College of Tennessee (UT) Animal Hospital Thursday afternoon however died later that day.

Otto, a river otter at the Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium in Kingsport, Tenn., died on Thursday after guests threw meals into his enclosure within the nature protect. Park officers discovered grapes within the enclosure, although it’s unclear if Otto ate the grapes or one thing else that “his physique couldn’t tolerate,” in line with park officers.
(Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium)

“We’re deeply saddened to announce that Otto the river otter didn’t make it. His actual explanation for loss of life is not identified, however a necropsy can be carried out to seek out out,” the park stated in a press release.

Otto reportedly arrived on the park in October 2017 when he was 9 months previous. He and his siblings had been orphaned after their dad and mom died in a flood.

“The hope was to launch them again into the wild, however the pups had misplaced their worry of people, so Otto discovered a brand new residence with us at Bays Mountain Park,” the park stated.

The protect stated Otto — described as a cheerful creature that beloved to splash round with toys in his pool — was “beloved” by each workers and friends.


“We wish to thank everybody who despatched well-wishes for Otto after our preliminary assertion earlier at this time. When you have any images or recollections of Otto, please share them with us,” park officers concluded within the assertion.

Guests and followers provided their condolences.

“What an terrible, unnecessary occasion. So very sorry Otto didn’t make it. Our hearts exit to the Park and all who beloved him,” one particular person wrote.

“The information of Otto’s passing has deeply saddened our household. My kids beloved watching him swim and play. He can be significantly missed,” one other stated.

A 3rd Fb person added: “I at all times beloved watching Otto. He can be significantly missed, I want there was a option to know who did this. Such a candy boy to must go this manner.”

On Friday, the park thanked the “outpouring of assist” from followers and guests after Otto’s loss of life.

“The most effective factor you are able to do for the park and for Otto’s reminiscence is to calmly, kindly educate each other on the hazards of feeding wildlife. That goes for any wild animals — not simply those at parks and zoos like ours,” the park wrote on Fb.


“Once more, thanks for all of the love. It is a troublesome day, however we actually respect the reminder of simply how beloved this park and our animal residents are,” the assertion concluded.


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