BROOKFIELD, Ill. -- A river otter pup that veterinary staff was attempting to hand-rear after his mother could not care for him has died, Brookfield Zoo officials said.
The pup was born on Feb. 26, and animal care and veterinary staff at the zoo had made the difficult choice to intervene when it became clear his mother could not provide him with proper nourishment.
Their hope was to relocate him to another institution with pups around the same age since it was not likely his mother would accept him back into her care.
Brookfield Zoo said over the weekend the pup's health sharply declined and veterinary staff made the difficult decision to euthanize him.
"This was an enormously hard decision to make, but to prevent the otter from any further suffering, we determined this was the only viable course of action," said Bill Zeigler, senior vice president of animal programs for the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo.
River otter pup at Brookfield Zoo dies