CT's Beardsley Zoo Welcomes New River Otter

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is the new home for Sedge, a two-year-old male North American river otter newly arrived from the Alexandria Zoological Gardens in Louisiana. Sedge has joined two-year-old female river otter Tahu in the newly renovated otter habitat. 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 habitats.

Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said, “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. We’re pleased to welcome Sedge to the Zoo.” 

Sedge joins other new animals in the Zoo, including a new female golden lion tamarin and new Goeldi’s monkey, both located in the Rainforest Building. During the pandemic, a new two-toed sloth also joined the Zoo family. 

About North American River Otters

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 tails are muscular and comprise 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. 

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 99th year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tiger and leopards, maned wolves, Mexican gray wolves, and red wolves. Other highlights include our new Spider Monkey Habitat, the Rainforest Building, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can ride on the carousel, grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization approaching its 100th year at a time when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and eco-systems is more important than ever. 

Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org. In accordance with the state of Connecticut COVID-19 guidelines: we strongly recommend that guests continue to wear masks while visiting the Zoo, but when guests are outside and can maintain social distance, masks may be removed. In the Rainforest Building and other indoor areas, or when social distancing cannot be maintained, masks are required. Everyone over the age of two, except for those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them, should have a mask available.