Tennessee otter dies after eating food from park visitors

Otto the otter

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee otter named Otto has died after park visitors gave him food that his body couldn’t tolerate.

News outlets report Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium announced Otto’s death Thursday, saying an autopsy will be conducted to determine his official cause of death. The park says Otto’s sickness and death is exactly why it prohibits people from feeding park animals.

It says Otto joined the park in 2017 at 9 months old. He was previously cared for at a North Carolina rehabilitation facility that took in Otto and his sister after the two lost their parents in a flood. Officials initially planned to release the siblings into the wild, but Otto had become too accustomed to humans. It’s unclear what happened to his sister.

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