The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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12-year-old otter passes at Virginia Aquarium

Sheldon the otter smiles for Ross Taylor at the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach, VA. Photo used with permission from Ross Taylor.

Beloved 12-year-old otter, Sheldon, passed away at the Virginia Aquarium on April 18, 2024. 

“We are heartbroken by [his] passing and so is [Homer], his roommate,” said senior Hailey Bombard who works at the Virginia Aquarium and was shocked by Sheldon’s death.

During Sheldon’s annual exam, he unexpectedly passed after a routine anesthetic procedure, according to the Virginia Aquarium website.

Sheldon was the darker, larger otter that was a staple at his aquarium home his entire life. His favorite pastimes were playing with ice and car wash strips. 

“He was so energetic and playful,” said Bombard. “The guests always had a great time watching him dash from one side of his tank to the other.”

Born in 2012, Sheldon was taken in by the aquarium after being abandoned by his mother.

He had no previous health problems or irregularities before the procedure, so a veterinary team will conduct a necropsy in order to further their understanding of Sheldon’s abrupt and tragic passing. Going all the way back to his days as a pup, Sheldon had the love and attention of the mammal care team. The team is deeply saddened after the death of their long-time otter buddy.

“The Virginia Aquarium staff is mourning the loss of Sheldon,” stated the Virginia Aquarium in the article released about Sheldon’s passing.

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About the Contributor
Anna Daubenspeck
Anna Daubenspeck, Staff Writer
Anna Daubenspeck is a sophomore and a first-year journalism student. She loves spending time with her friends and family. Anna has been dancing since she was two years old, and it is her biggest passion. Her hobbies include reading, watching movies and baking. In the future, Anna would like to pursue a career in journalism.  

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