Baby otters are dying in captivity at Texas Tech, but it’s the otters that are dying, it seems.
The otters, native to the Great Lakes region, have been at the center of a recent controversy over their treatment.
They’re considered “unsafe” and have been on display at museums in California, Texas, California and Nevada, but their captivity is controversial, according to The Texas Tribune.
The otters at Texas’ University of Texas are considered captive-bred.
Travis County, where Tech is located, has adopted an “immediate” ban on otter display.
Texas Tech is not among the states that have adopted the ban, according the Texas Tribune, and Tech’s owner has said he believes the otter exhibit is inhumane.
The Texas Legislature is also considering a ban on animal display at Texas universities, according ToTheScore.
Tech is the only school in Texas with a zoo.
The school recently received the U.S. Endangered Species Act designation, which is one of the most powerful protections for threatened species.
The Texas Otter Foundation, which has been working to end the ottery captivity issue, said in a statement that the otts are not captive bred.
“This is an issue that we take very seriously and we have been working diligently to get the word out to educate people about this important conservation issue,” it said.
We are working diligently with the Texas State Government and the University of Houston and the Texas Department of State Health Services to ensure that the state of Texas continues to honor its commitment to protect and protect the species.”