Brevard Zoo’s River Otter ‘Saba’ Passes Away
By Space Coast Daily // March 22, 2015
Brevard Zoo humanely euthanize her
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Brevard Zoo’s 16-year-old North American river otter, Saba, passed away on Friday.
Saba was diagnosed with cancer and due to her declining health, the Brevard Zoo made the decision to humanely euthanize her.
She came to the Zoo when she was just 6 months old and resided in the Wild Florida loop of the Zoo.
The Northern River Otter, (Lontra canadensis), is a North American member of the Mustelidae or weasel family.
It is also known as the North American River Otter. It is a common animal in North American waterways.
However, its numbers have significantly dropped since Europeans came to the Americas.
The Northern River Otter has a streamlined, muscular body with short legs, webbed toes and a long muscular tail.
The North American river otter’s body measure is somewhere between 25.98 inches to 42.13 inches, and its tail measure is between 12.40 inches to 18.11 inches.
A river otter’s tail makes up 30 to 40 percent of the total length of its body.
It can weigh between 6 and 31 pounds. The river otter has a round, small head, short yet powerful legs, and large whiskers.
Otters display sexual dimorphism, as the male otter is often larger than the female.
Its fur is glossy and dark brown, and the throat is often silver grey.
The otter is a powerful swimmer, but can also travel quickly on land and often propel itself into a rapid slide on its belly on snow or ice.
It also likes to slide down river banks into the water.
The North American River Otter has nostrils which close underwater and its fur is soft and dense. Both of these adaptations help it to have extended excursions underwater.
On land, a Northern River Otter can run up to 18 miles per hour.
Its life span is 10-15 years in the wild, but it may live up to 25 years in captivity.
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