Woodland Park Zoo officials said Saturday that after a few fretful hours, they spotted Salishan, a 1-1/2-year-old North American river otter, that had been missing from her exhibit.
The otter, one of three at the zoo, was last seen by zookeepers Friday afternoon. When they arrived at the exhibit Saturday morning and took a count, she was nowhere to be found.
However, at midafternoon, Salishan was seen in a nearby exhibit for mountain goats in the zoo’s Northern Trail section, and keepers were working to get her back where she belonged, said zoo spokeswoman Gigi Oglivie.
Zoo staff don’t know how Salishan escaped, but her keepers saw her climbing along the edge of the exhibit’s moat wall on Christmas. As a precaution, electric wires were placed around the exhibit to keep her from climbing out.
As a pup, Salishan and her brother were rescued in spring 1996 on Bainbridge Island after being observed without a mother for several days. The animals were raised by humans and therefore aren’t suitable for release into the wild.