Shedd Aquarium euthanizes river otter Rio

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Rio, a North American river otter at the Shedd Aquarium, has died.

The Shedd decided to euthanize the otter due to “progressively deteriorating health and quality of life associated with advanced age.”

Rio was 21 years old, exceeding the known median life expectancy of river otter by nearly a decade, which is typically about 12 years for the species, according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“It’s been a remarkable experience watching Rio inspire our guests throughout her years at the aquarium. As she grew older, Rio became a testament to the zoological community’s emerging expertise in geriatric animal care and welfare,” said Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal care and training, in a news release. “With her playful personality, Rio was a beloved ambassador for her species.”


Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

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