Otto the otter lost his life after guests threw food into his Tennessee enclosure, park officials said

KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- An otter cared for at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium in Kingsport, Tennessee lost his life after officials said guests threw food into his enclosure -- which made him sick.

Officials announced on Thursday, May 30 Otto was being transported to UT Animal Hospital for treatment after ingesting food his body couldn't tolerate. On Friday, May 31, they offered an update -- saying Otto didn't make it.

Otto came to the park as a 9-month-old in October 2017 from a rehabilitation facility in North Carolina. He was cared for there with his sibling after they lost their parents in a flood. The hope was to release them back into the wild, but they had lost their fear of humans, so Otto found a new home at Bays Mountain Park.

"As a reminder, feeding the animals at Bays Mountain Park is strictly prohibited for exactly this reason," officials said. "Human food is often intolerable and, in this case, even harmful to our animals. Please follow all posted park rules, including the signs that say not to feed the animals."

Park officials said Otto was a cheerful boy who could often be found swimming or playing with toys in his pool, even when it was snowing outside.

Officials said a necropsy would be performed to determine a cause of death.