Sad news out of the Outer Banks this week. Molly, North Carolina’s most famous river otter, has died after suffering a seizure at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.
The North American river otter who delighted aquarium guests for nearly 18 years experienced a seizure in the early morning of July 29th. Molly was under 24-hour supervision in the days following the seizure, but sadly did not regain consciousness. On Wednesday the aquarium announced their difficult decision to euthanize Molly “rather than have her experience any suffering.”
“Like all of the animals in our care, quality of life is our highest priority,” aquarium husbandry curator Kristen Clark said in a news release. “We all are so devastated to lose Molly, but this was the most humane route to prevent any further discomfort or health problems on her part.”
Molly was less than one year old when she came to the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island from the Florida Aquarium in 2001. Highly energetic, playful, and described by her caretakers as “a real handful,” many guests returned year after year to visit her over the nearly two decades that followed.
The life expectancy of otters in captivity is around 18-20 years. At 18, Molly was considered an elderly otter. In the wild, otters live to be nine or ten years old.
“She definitely lived a full life,” Clark said.
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Our hearts go out to Molly’s caretakers and her legion of fans.