Staff disciplined after 'unauthorized' pants kill Calgary zoo otter

CALGARY -- A Calgary Zoo investigation has pinpointed what caused the death of an otter named Logan last week: a pair of pants that were not meant to be in his enclosure.

See Full Article

The 12-year-old North American river otter was found struggling in a pool last week at the zoo's Canadian Wilds exhibit. A keeper jumped in to save him, but the animal did not survive.

A necropsy revealed Logan drowned after becoming tangled in the clothing.

Keepers give animals "enrichment" items that are meant to elicit behaviours that they would display in the wild, zoo general curator Colleen Baird said Wednesday.

She said the zoo has rules about which items are appropriate for specific animals. In the otter's case, the pants were not authorized.

"Each species is different. An enrichment item that might be OK for one species would not be OK for another," she said.

Two staff members have been disciplined, but Baird cited privacy reasons in declining to say what exact measures are being taken.

"When an animal dies, we take this very seriously and it's very tragic," she said. "The zoo is heartbroken over this."

Enrichment items that would be allowed in the otter's pool include clams and mussels, pipes and tubes for rafts and hoses to create bubbles to mimic a flowing river.

Some types of clothing and fabric are allowed for certain animals -- ferrets and gorillas, for example, said Baird.

The zoo has three remaining otters -- a one-year-old male named Finnegan, a 16-year-old male called Callebaut and a 12-year-old female that staff call Charlotte.

So far, they appear to be doing fine following Logan's death.

"We're monitoring closely to make sure that we can see if there are any changes or effects due to this loss and we're just keeping a close eye on what they're up to."

Baird said the zoo's animal protocols are among the most detailed in Canada. It plans to reinforce its rules with staff to ensure nothing like this happens again.

The zoo has made headlines in the past over the deaths of its animals. They include about 40 stingrays in an interactive exhibit in May 2008, a giant capybara crushed by a hydraulic door in 2009 and a caribou calf from complications related to sudden severe neck trauma in 2014.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Thousands take to London streets to protest Brexit plan

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Thousands of demonstrators are gathering under sunny skies in central London to protest plans for Britain to withdraw from the European Union. The Unite for Europe march included many carrying EU flags just days before Britain is expected to begin its formal divorce from the EU. Source
  • Iraqi forces pause in push for Mosul over concern for civilian casualties

    World News CBC News
    Iraqi government forces paused in their push to recapture western Mosul from ISIS militants on Saturday because of the high rate of civilian casualties, a security forces spokesman said. The halt was called as the United Nations expressed its profound concern over reports of an incident during the battle on March 17 that killed or wounded dozens of people in the ISIS-held al-Jadidah district of Mosul, apparently involving air strikes by Iraqi or U.S. Source
  • 'Sketchy' $6,000 bill leads to call for more tow truck regulations

    Canada News CTV News
    An industry insider is calling for stricter tow truck regulations in Ontario after seeing a pattern of rising bills, including one invoice for $6,000. Shawn Jamieson, a collision repair expert in Ottawa, says he is tired of the rising cost of tow truck bills and frequently sees invoices for more than $1,000. Source
  • Venezuela government 'terrified' of calling election

    World News CBC News
    The late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and his allies triumphed nearly every time voters went to the ballot box. But Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro, appears to have lost interest in testing the will of the people. Source
  • Trudeau's popularity takes hit

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The Justin Trudeau Liberals are now trailing the Conservatives slightly after delivering a widely unpopular budget this week, a Forum Research poll shows. Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, said there were several items that drew a strong negative response in Thursday’s budget and that added up to a drop in popular support for the government. Source
  • U.S., U.K. begin electronics ban on flights from several Muslim-majority countries

    World News CBC News
    New travel restrictions on direct flights to Britain and the United States from several Muslim-majority countries take effect today, meaning electronic devices larger than a cellphone must be placed in checked baggage. For U.S.-bound flights, it's an extra hassle for passengers wishing to use laptops and tablets after leaving from one of 10 airports in eight countries — including Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Source
  • Saudi embassy confirms London attacker had been in Saudi Arabia

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- The man who killed four people outside Britain's Parliament was in Saudi Arabia three times and taught English there, the Persian Gulf country's embassy said. Khalid Masood taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009, a Saudi Embassy statement released late Friday said. Source
  • Canadians urged to spend time in the dark to mark Earth Hour

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Many Canadians will be spending an hour with the lights out tonight as they join people around the world in marking the tenth annual Earth Hour. The event is aimed at drawing attention to climate change and for people to show they support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Source
  • Airstrike on rebel-held parts of Syria kill and wound dozens

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- Warplanes struck rebel-held parts of Syria Saturday killing and wounding scores of people amid clashes on multiple fronts between government forces and insurgent groups in some of the worst violence to hit the country in weeks, opposition activists said Saturday. Source
  • Airstrikes across rebel-held Syria kill and wound dozens

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- Warplanes struck rebel-held parts of Syria Saturday killing and wounding scores of people amid clashes on multiple fronts between government forces and insurgent groups in some of the worst violence to hit the country in weeks, opposition activists said Saturday. Source