Rizzo was 16 years old. River otters live to be 10 to 12 years old in the wild, and an average of 17 years in human care. Rizzo’s longtime companion Nessie died last spring from heart disease. The pair was always a favorite of guests and beloved by all who knew them.
The Zoo is currently making long-planned improvements to the habitat in anticipation of new otters arriving.
Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said, “Our river otters have always been some of the most popular animals who make their home here at the Zoo, for their playful nature and intelligence as well as their role as an iconic North American animal. Nessie and Rizzo were the last of several river otters here, and we’ve been proud to have welcomed otter pups in years past. We look forward to a new family of otters here again soon.”