An Otter died while playing with a pair of pants that were given to him by two staff members of the Calgary Zoo. The pants were not an authorized object to give the otter and the pants ended up killing him when he became tangled in them underwater and drown.
The Telegraph reports on February 18, that the two staff members were reprimanded for giving the 12-year-old river otter an unauthorized object to play with. Neither of the two have lost their positions with the zoo. They were reprimanded for “giving the animal clothing as an unauthorized enrichment item.”
Colleen Baird, who was speaking for the Calgary Zoo said, “this error is simply unacceptable.” That was a bit harsh, as two zookeepers today are probably feeling horrible that this happened because of the item they gave the otter. She went on to say:
“Our animal care protocols are among the most stringent in the industry and must be followed. We will be reinforcing our protocols with every member of our animal care staff to prevent an incident like this from ever happening again.”
The Calgary Zoo has completed the investigation into Login’s death, which was the Otter’s name. When Login was spotted in the water tangled in the pants a zookeeper jumped in and tried to untangle the furry critter, but it was too late. The necropsy showed that the Otter’s cause of death was drowning.
The Telegraph reports that Julie Woodyer of the animal protection organization called Zoocheck had a comment to add. She did not sugar coat what she had to say while describing the staff who gave the otter the trousers as “irresponsible”: “It smacks of the kinds of things you might see at a roadside zoo, not in a professional operation.”
The Calgary Zoo has a list of unfortunate animal accidental deaths. The Telegraph reports:
In 2013 a penguin died after swallowing a long stick, the penguin’s name was Fiona. Back in 2012 a great grey owl died after flying into a gate when it escaped from its enclosure. In 2009 a female capybara, which is an animal from South America that looks like a giant guinea pig with long legs, was fatally crushed in a hydraulic door.
The year before that in 2008 not one, but 41 cownose stingrays suddenly died. This investigation report suggests the zoo had a lack of oxygen in their water. Back in 1999 the zoo’s controversial polar bear exhibit was temporarily shut down following the death of one bear, Misty, who had been prescribed Prozac. Now Login who died by drowning while playing with an “unauthorized” pair of pants is sadly added to this list.