Otto the river otter is well known by many. His signature cheerfulness endears him to everyone that he meets. Those who visit Tennessee’s Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium love to spend time with him. Sadly, he perished recently. The reason for his passing is truly saddening as well. It is clear to see that this did not have to happen.
He became sick because he was exposed to outside food. While no one is sure exactly what food was thrown, workers who examined the animal’s enclosure found grapes inside. A necropsy is slated to be performed so that the park’s workers can get to the bottom of what took place. “Human food is often intolerable and, in this case, even harmful to our animals,” said a staff member.
Zoo animals regularly suffer because of the ignorance of visitors. Too many people believe that these are their animals to treat as they wish. In reality, they have strictly regimented diets that must be adhered to. We cannot feed zoo animals whatever we feel like. Other visitors cause harm to animals by attempting to make their way into the animals’ enclosures.
Everyone has heard the story of Harambe, the gorilla who was euthanized to save a toddler that had fallen into his clutches. An Illinois flamingo was recently killed when a zoo visitor decided to skip rocks into their living area. These are the things that must be stopped. We just hope that the parties responsible for Otto’s death are willing to come forward.
That will allow this tragic situation to become a teachable moment. Animal lovers everywhere are mourning Otto’s loss. It was all so avoidable. It is time to make sure that his death was not in vain. This story must be shared far and wide. We must all take the time to educate one another on the dangers of feeding wildlife when we visit zoos. Calmly explaining these risks to those who are considering feeding zoo animals can go a long way towards preventing the next tragedy.
Otto the Otter, from Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium in Tennessee, quickly fell ill after guests threw grapes into his enclosure. Otto fans across the country are grieving over his sudden passing.Posted by Dose on Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Zoos are not here for our personal amusement and it is important to respect the animals that reside there. Unless there are explicit instructions that allow visitors to feed the animals, keep your food to yourself. The zoo workers do not need your help when it comes to feeding their residents. Please be sure to share this important story with all of the animal lovers in your life!