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An otter that once famously escaped from Auckland Zoo has died in Wellington.
Jin, a three short clawed Asiatic otters, was found dead in her enclosure at Wellington Zoo on Monday morning, the zoo said in a statement today.
Jin caught the imagination of New Zealanders in 2006 with her 26-day escapade around Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.
She dug through two walls and scaled a 1.8-metre-high barrier to reach freedom.
Jin arrived at Wellington Zoo with breeding partner Jala, via a short three-month stay at Christchurch's Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, in November 2007, the zoo said.
''For the last six months she had been introduced to a new breeding partner Bud, but was unsuccessful in delivering any pups.
''Our Keepers noted that she was a feisty animal, always ready to try to nibble at their boots when they were caught unawares they learnt to become ever more vigilant at these tactics over the years.''
A post mortem is being held at Massey University to determine the cause of death of the seven-year-old otter.
The zoo is looking for a new breeding partner for Bud.
and from the SAFE Facebook page (Save Animals From Exploitation, an extremist animal-rights group of nutters): SAFE | Facebook
Sad news about Jin, the captive otter. She was one very clever and determined web-footed feisty weasel, who clearly wanted (and deserved) to be free. Her daring 26-day escapade swimming about Auckland's harbour surely were her best days ever. Shame she had to die alone inside a concrete prison.