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.