Betty the sea otter, who was named for “Golden Girl” and animal lover Betty White and spent her life enchanting visitors at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, has died of causes that are so far unknown, aquarium officials said Friday.
According to the aquarium, Betty died Thursday at age 10. She had no known health issues and had not exhibited any behavior giving a clue as to why she died. Veterinarians will be conducting an exam in hopes of determining a cause of death.
“In recent months Betty had been one of the otters helping several newly arrived rescued sea otter pups navigate life at the aquarium in the Sea Otter Habitat,” Brett Long, the aquarium’s curator of marine mammals and birds, said in a statement on social media. “Betty was known for her high-speed eating, particularly squid, and her adorable clapping behavior. She will be greatly missed.”
Betty arrived at the aquarium in 2012 after being found off Del Monte Beach in Northern California. She was estimated to be 9 or 10 weeks old when she arrived, according to the aquarium.
She was given the name Betty after meeting Betty White, who paid a visit to the aquarium to mark her 90th birthday that same year.
The aquarium established a donation page in honor of Betty for supporters to make financial contributions in the otter’s memory. The page is at support.aquariumofpacific.org/give/335215/#!/donation/checkout.