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

  • Police seek public's help in locating Ontario woman last seen in 1996

    Canada News CTV News
    BECKWITH TOWNSHIP, Ont. -- Provincial police are requesting the public's assistance in locating a woman who was reported missing more than five years ago. They say Carole Dianne Roy was reported missing on May 23, 2012, but investigators say the last confirmed sighting of Roy was on Oct. Source
  • R.I. lawmaker says she was told sexual favours would help career

    World News CTV News
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A Rhode Island lawmaker says a higher-ranking legislator told her sexual favours would allow her bills to go further. Democratic Rep. Teresa Tanzi told the Providence Journal that she's among the many women who have experienced sexual assault or harassment. Source
  • Judge in Hawaii blocks latest version of Trump's travel ban

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration Tuesday from enforcing its latest travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted Hawaii's request to temporarily block the policy that was to be implemented starting early Wednesday. Source
  • British spy chief says 'intense U.K. terrorist threat' is evolving rapidly

    World News CBC News
    Britain's domestic intelligence chief warned during a rare public speech Tuesday that the terrorist threat the country faces has accelerated at an alarming pace and is worse now than at any time in his 34-year career. Source
  • 'Absolute genuine kindness': RCMP officer replaces girls' tricycles after theft

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    BLACKS HARBOUR, N.B. — A New Brunswick Mountie is being praised for an act of kindness towards two young girls heartbroken by the theft of their tricycles. The Curtis family of Blacks Harbour, a small seaside village west of Saint John, noticed their daughters’ two tricycles missing from their driveway last week. Source
  • Dow Jones hits 23,000 mark for the first time

    World News CBC News
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average breached the 23,000-mark for the first time on Tuesday, powered by strong earnings from UnitedHealth Group and Johnson & Johnson. The blue-chip index has surpassed four similar 1,000-point milestones this year, indicating investor faith in the bull-run despite lofty stock valuations. Source
  • ISIS vows Russia World Cup slaughter

    World News Toronto Sun
    From the rubble of its crumbling caliphate, Islamic State is vowing to unleash bloodshed at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. ISIS has swamped social media with photos of the front of the Volgograd Arena in southern Russia, where some of the action will take place. Source
  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau faces calls for ethics investigation over assets [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he’d be willing to make changes to his financial affairs if asked to do so by the federal ethics watchdog as pressure mounts over why he hasn’t put his substantial assets in a blind trust. Source
  • Residential school survivors can proactively preserve documents: Bennett

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says there is a proactive effort underway to tell residential school survivors that their records can still be preserved if they so choose. The move comes after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled earlier this month that records detailing the abuse of former students can eventually be destroyed. Source
  • Google sister company makes 'bold bet' with new tech-focused neighbourhood 'Sidewalk Toronto'

    Canada News CBC News
    Waterfront Toronto has announced that Sidewalk Labs, Google's city-building sister company, will be its partner in creating a new tech-focused neighbourhood on the eastern Toronto waterfront. Reports began circulating last spring that Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet Inc. Source