Zoo officials not amused by 'ironic' story of otter destroying OtterBox-encased phone


The Red River Zoo isn't amused by an "ironic" news story that gained national attention this week.

Last week, a visitor to the Fargo, North Dakota, zoo had apparently dropped their iPhone – encased in an OtterBox protective case – into the North American river otters exhibit, Valley News Live reported. An otter picked it up, and zoo-goers watched as the otter ripped apart the case, dropping the phone into the water several times.

The Internet enjoyed the irony of the incident, pointing out the OtterBox – which claims to defend against most of life's mishaps – cannot protect against actual otters.

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In light of the news coverage over the incident, OtterBox jokingly released a video saying its engineers were "hard at work" to create a truly "otter-proof" case:

OtterBox noted that it is not actually looking into an otter-proof case, reminding people not to approach "wild or zoo-bound otters with their smartphones or otherwise."

But Lisa Tate, the zoo's executive director, told Forum News Service what may be ironic or funny to some, it's not to her.

"[Animals] can ingest pieces of plastic, it can hurt them, it can actually kill them," Tate told Forum News Service. "It's something that we watch for, and most of our zoo visitors are good about it, but some people aren't as responsible or aware."

She added, instead of having people standing around videotaping the otter destroying the phone case, she wished someone would have gotten the attention of zoo staff right away to deal with the problem.

Tate told Forum News Service she wished the coverage of the incident would have included information about how foreign objects can harmful to zoo animals.

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