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Percy the otter is euthanized at Sacramento Zoo after her condition worsened

Percy, the North American river otter whose charming personality has endeared him to Sacramento Zoo visitors and staff for 17 years, died Thursday.
Percy, the North American river otter whose charming personality has endeared him to Sacramento Zoo visitors and staff for 17 years, died Thursday. Sacramento Zoo photo

Another favorite resident at the Sacramento Zoo had to be euthanized this week.

Percy, the North American river otter whose charming personality endeared her to zoo visitors and staff for 17 years, died Thursday. Her death follows the passing of Jasper, the plain-colored Amazon parrot, who was euthanized Monday after being diagnosed with a cardiac condition.

Percy, born in the wild in Florida in 1999, was orphaned and then hand-reared by humans. Deemed unreleasable, she came to the Sacramento Zoo in 1999.

“This loss is very tough for the staff who have cared for and loved Percy for many years,” said Matt McKim, animal collection director. “We are extremely grateful for everyone’s hard work in the general care of Percy, as well as the exceptional care given during her recent health situation.”

Percy suffered from a variety of ailments not uncommon for a geriatric otter. In the wild, such as along the American River in Sacramento, otters live up to 10 years. Zoo otters can live two decades.

In early July, according to a zoo press release, Percy began having trouble walking because of a nervous system disorder. She was treated with pain and anti-inflammatory medications.

Her condition improved and she returned to her enclosure. However, earlier this week, the otter’s mobility was bad again. Veterinary staff evaluation of Percy indicated that her neurological disease had gotten worse.

Due to the severity of her infirmity and Percy’s poor prognosis, the decision was made to euthanize her on Thursday. She also suffered from hip arthritis and renal disease.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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