Tennessee Aquarium otter dies unexpectedly
Just days after he was moved to a temporary home, one of the Tennessee Aquarium's beloved otters passed away.
Officials with the Tennessee Aquarium say Pete and another otter, Delmar, were moved to a facility in South Carolina while the Cove Forest undergoes renovations.
Pete and Delmar joined four other otters to acclimate before they are moved to the Tennessee Aquarium.
Before they left, Pete and Delmar were given thorough physical examinations which included blood work and x-rays. Both were deemed healthy and fit for travel.
They acted normal upon arrival, but Pete's health deteriorated quickly. Pete passed just days after he arrived.
"After losing Pete, we stepped back to re-examine our interim holding plans," said Jackson Andrews, the Aquarium's director of husbandry and operations. "It became apparent that we wouldn't be able to work from a remote location and still accomplish all of the husbandry goals necessary to open the new exhibit."
It is unclear what caused Pete's death; test results from a post-mortem examination were inconclusive.
Delmar and the other four otters were moved to the Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center where they are doing well.
"Two of the males are already bonding well and getting along quite nicely," said Andrews. "The juvenile male and female are both orphans and they also behave well together. Our goal is to get Delmar and all of the otters accustomed to spending time with one another in a shared space."
The new otter exhibit opens May of 2014 and will have a large, multi-tiered space to explore, including waterfalls and a flowing stream