CT's Beardsley Zoo Mourns the Loss of Sedge the River Otter

The family at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is saddened to announce the unexpected passing of Sedge, a male North American river otter (Lutra canadensis). He was four years old.

Sedge was recently under medical care for an infection. His necropsy, standard for all animals who pass from an undetermined illness, will be performed by the Pathology Lab at the University of Connecticut. Results may take several days to several weeks. 

Sedge arrived in 2021 from the Alexandria Zoological Gardens in Louisiana as a companion for Tahu. Four-year-old Tahu is in good health. 

“Sedge will be deeply missed by all of us here at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “He had a unique personality and related well both to his companion, Tahu, and to his animal care staff. It has been our privilege to have known him for two years.”

He added, “Our river otters have always been some of the most popular animals who make their home here at the Zoo, for their playful nature and intelligence as well as their role as an iconic North American animal. It’s a sad day for the Zoo.” 

About North American River Otters

As a species, river otters have suffered from habitat loss, water pollution and fur trapping. Their numbers are on the rise due to reintroduction programs in parts of the U.S., better water quality, and protection of their habitat.

River otters, members of the weasel family, can run on land as well as swim. They are playful and agile athletes, sliding down hills of mud or snow to land with a splash in water. Their tail is muscular and comprises up to 40 percent of the otter’s body length. They can move through the water as fast as eight miles per hour and can dive to 36 feet. Found throughout most of North America, the river otter lives in aquatic habitats: streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. They prefer unpolluted water with minimal human disturbance. 


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