Newly-arrived sea otter dies at aquarium

In other news, Copenhagen Zoo sends endangered leopards to US

A sea otter named Laura has died at the national aquarium, Den Blå Planet, just a few weeks after being transferred from the Alaska SeaLife Center together with two other animals of the same species, Metroxpress reports.

The zookeeper Breyt Walther told Metroxpress that staff at the aquarium had been concerned for the animal from early on. “Over the first couple of days, they all bore the natural signs of jetlag and tiredness after the long journey,” she said.

“But, while the others became more active and curious, Laura slept a lot and didn’t eat a lot.”

Examined for bowel obstruction
Suspicious that Laura was suffering from a physical affliction, the staff at the aquarium conducted tests. “On Friday we separated her from the others so that we could have her under closer supervision, Walther explained.

“She was moved to the hospital, where she was inspected under general anaesthetic. We were afraid that there was a bowel obstruction or something in the stomach region, but the inspection didn’t reveal anything.”

Despite waking up after the procedure, the animal died on Saturday.

First in Denmark
The remaining two sea otters are in good health according to Walther. “They are doing really well and there has been no reaction to Laura’s death,” she said.

The arrival of the three marine mammals marked the first time sea otters have been in Denmark. Lisbon Aquarium is the only other place in Europe the species can be seen.

Zoo leopards in breeding programme
Meanwhile, Copenhagen Zoo will also be saying goodbye to two of its residents, but under happier circumstances. DR reports that the zoo will be sending two of its young Amur leopards to the USA as part of a breeding programme.

Amur leopards are critically endangered with only around 50 left in the wild.

Mads Bertelsen, a vet at the zoo, explained that the transfer is part of conservation efforts.

“It’s a very, very important animal for breeding co-operation and it is important that the animals breed with those that are least related to them,” he said.