The Smithsonian’s Nation Zoo announced that Peaches the small-clawed otter was euthanized on March 11, 2019. he was 7 years old.
Peaches was eight months ago with a cancerous mass on her soft palate and tongue and was receiving treatment for it.
The life expectancy of a small-clawed otter residing in a zoo is 12 years. Their life span of an otter in the wild is not known.
The mass was found in Peaches’ mouth in Aug. 2018. After tests, the tumor was confirmed to be cancerous. Peaches received electrochemotherapy which reduced the tumor on her tongue. The treatment extended the otter’s life by several months.
Despite receiving high-quality care, Peaches health declined. Animal care decided due to her prognosis to humanely euthanize her.
Peaches came from the Santa Barbara Zoo in 2012. Peaches’ role at the zoo was to teach staff about visitors about the biology of the small-clawed otter, socialization, and behavior.
Peaches was remembered fondly by zoo staff as being social and had a very close relationship with her siblings Kevin and Rutabaga. The family of otters were often seen together playing, but Peaches preferred to be independent. The otter enjoyed playing with rock and could be seen tossing them with her forepaws.
Besides Kevin and Rutabaga’s father, Chowder continues to reside at the zoo. Also located in the Asia Trail exhibit where they all lived, is Valerie who is unrelated.
Written by Barbara Sobel
National Zoo: Asian Small-Clawed Otter Dies at Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Image Courtesy of Claire Brownlow’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License