March 22, 2012
The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center's last original North American river otter has died, joining another that died last week.
The center said that Pungo was euthanized Wednesday. He had undergone surgery in October to remove a large, cancerous mass, and he developed a lung condition in the last few weeks.
Pungo, 18, had been the oldest otter left since Willoughby died last week. The two were the last of the original members of the North American river otter exhibit that opened in 1996. Two other much younger otters remain at the center.
The center said in a release that river otters live eight to 13 years in the wild, and rarely live longer than 20 years in a zoological setting.