Beloved otter Mollie at Audubon Aquarium unexpectedly dies Wednesday _lowres

Mollie, a well-known otter at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, died Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas)

.

Mollie, a well-known otter at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, died Wednesday.

According to the aquarium, Mollie had been at the facility for a year. The cause of death is unknown, but initial findings were inconclusive.

"It's never easy when you lose an animal. We are constantly learning from them, not only when they are with us but also when they are not," Audubon Nature Institute Associate Veterinarian Tres Clarke said in a statement. "It's critical to determine how Mollie died so we can help not only our animals, but also those in the wild."

When she was about 3 years-old, Mollie was rescued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium animal care team near the Monterey Yacht Club on July 28, 2014. Given her history of interacting with humans, it was determined that for Mollie's welfare, she should remain in human care.

“We were very fortunate to have had an opportunity to care for Mollie and to be able to share her with our Aquarium guests and members," Audubon Aquarium Director of Husbandry Beth Firchau said. "She was a wonderful companion to Clara and Emma, and our staff will miss her very much.”

The sea otter habitat remains open to the public with otters Emma and Clara.