Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is the new home for Tahu, a one-year-old female North American river otter newly arrived from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Wash.
After the Zoo’s last river otter passed away in 2019 from advanced age, the Zoo engaged in long-planned improvements to the otter habitat. With renovations complete, Tahu has joined the Zoo family and will be joined by a male companion in the future.
As a species, river otters have suffered from habitat loss, water pollution, and fur trapping. Their numbers are on the rise due to reintroduction programs in parts of the U.S., better water quality, and protection of their habitats.
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. We’re pleased to welcome Tahu to the Zoo.”
About North American River Otters
River otters, members of the weasel family, can run on land as well as swim. They are playful and agile athletes, sliding down hills of mud or snow to land with a splash in water. Their tails are muscular and comprise up to 40 percent of the otter’s body length. They can move through the water as fast as eight miles per hour and can dive to 36 feet. Found throughout most of North America, the river otter lives in aquatic habitats: streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. They prefer unpolluted water with minimal human disturbance.
About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 98th year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species.
Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolves, and Mexican grey and red wolves. Other highlights include our new Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries.
Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization approaching its 100th year at a time when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and eco-systems is more important than ever.
The Zoo reopened on June 1. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org. Face masks are required for everyone over the age of two, with the exception of those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them.