Pacino the otter dies at Tucson's Reid Park Zoo

2013-03-04T19:00:00Z 2013-03-04T20:43:30Z Pacino the otter dies at Tucson's Reid Park ZooCarmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 04, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

Pacino, a male African spot-necked otter, died Sunday at Tucson's Reid Park Zoo, according to the zoo’s Facebook page.

Pacino was found unconscious in his pool, and keepers took him to the zoo’s health center for care, states the post.

He did not respond to treatment.

The zoo’s veterinary and pathologist team conducted a preliminary necropsy, which showed “a tumor on his adrenal gland, as well as some physical changes to his heart muscle,” according to the post.

Final test results will determine “how these findings might have contributed to his death,” the post states.

Pacino was about 14 years old, and “showed no symptoms of chronic health conditions,” states the post. He lived in Tucson since 2001, and “will be missed by staff and visitors.”

The zoo staff thanked the guests who were present Sunday morning “for their concern and support during a difficult time.”

Pacino was in an exhibit with a female otter, Makena, who came in 2009 or 2010 from the Phoenix Zoo, said Vivian VanPeenen, a zoo spokeswoman, in an interview Monday night.

It is not known if the zoo will get another otter, said VanPeenen. As an accredited institution, the zoo works with otter experts around the country “for what is best for the conservation" of the African spot-necked otter, VanPeenen said.

It is not considered an endangered species, said VanPeenen. However, she said, “it is a species that needs protection because of human encroachment and habitat loss in Africa.”

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