Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The female otter at the Hutchinson Zoo is back home after escaping on Valentine's Day.
The otter -- named Kyra -- escaped the Kansas Wildlife Aviary and spent eight days doing a little pond-hopping. She swam in ponds on the zoo grounds, in the park and in a fishing pond. But zoo staff feared that she might have taken a dip in the Arkansas River.
Had she done that, Kyra would have been gone.
Zoo director Charlotte Poepperling said staffers tried in vain to lure the otter back with trout, meat, smelt and salmon paste. Poepperling said "She could fish on her own" and wasn't hungry.
Not even the smell of male otter Willie's manure worked.
But on Sunday, zookeeper Heather Ladd succeeded in coaxing Kyra back to the zoo by tempting her with a hard-boiled egg.
Meantime, workers blocked escape routes before Kyra was allowed back in the aviary.