It is with heavy heart that the Calvert Marine Museum announces the loss of one of its North American river otters. The Otter named Keenan by the staff, but known affectionately by thousands of visitors as “Bubbles,” passed away last night. He had been unwell for several weeks and under a veterinarian’s care. Kennan was the second otter to carry the “Bubbles” name since the museum opened the otter exhibit in 1994.
Keenan was a delight to museum visitors for over 11 years. He arrived at the museum in June of 2003, after being rescued from the wild as an abandoned pup and rehabilitated by staff of Clearwater Marine Aquarium. While his loss will be keenly felt by his many fans, without human intervention, he would have died in the wild years ago without his mother. The museum will immediately begin the search for a replacement otter to take up the “Bubbles” legacy.
Keenan had been given a clean bill of health in July 2014 following one of his two routine annual examinations by our consulting veterinarian, Jennifer Matteson D.V.M of Three Notch Veterinary Hospital. In late August, Keenan began to develop behavioral changes. Soon after, he began losing his outer fur in a non-characteristic molt or shed. Dr. Matteson was called in to examine him again. Blood was drawn, skin biopsies were taken and ultrasonography done as the behavioral changes and loss of fur suggested a hormonal imbalance – later confirmed in the blood test results. While making plans for the next steps to be taken in ascertaining Keenan’s disease, he took a turn for the worse October 17. Keenan was taken to Three Notch Veterinary Hospital. While being examined under anesthesia, an underlying heart disorder was discovered – Keenan’s heart was not pumping blood to his organs, brain and extremities as it should have been. Unfortunately, in his weakened condition, Keenan never fully recovered from anesthesia and he died while resting under the watchful care of his devoted keepers.
A necropsy is scheduled for Friday. Information learned from this procedure will be used to further the understanding and care of North American river otters in collections across the county as multiple other organizational collaborators await the findings of today’s exam. Please direct all museum inquiries to David Moyer, Curator of Estuarine Biology at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (410) 326-2042 extension 33.
Rest now, Friend. Thank you for the many years of educating us all on the secret lives of North American river otters.
More CMM photos available upon request
Press Contact for this press release: David Moyer at email@example.com
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors, military with valid I.D. and AAA members, and $4.00 for children ages 5 - 12; children under 5 and museum members are always admitted free. For more information about the museum, upcoming events, or membership, visit the website at www.calvertmarinemuseum.com or call 410-326-2042. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.