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Tennessee Aquarium is Adding Otters
For more than 20 years North American River Otters have been one of the Tennessee Aquarium’s top attractions . Their agility and athleticism, both in and out of the water, captivates visitors leaving them wanting more.
“If you go through the Cove Forest and the otters are out scampering around and swimming, guests are delighted with the experience,” said Jackson Andrews, the Aquarium’s director of husbandry and operations. “It’s still very nice strolling through that forest surrounded by a gorgeous variety of plants while enjoying the birds, fish and reptiles, but the impact is not the same if the otters are asleep. A dramatic otter exhibit is something people have really wanted.”
Think of the new Cove Forest exhibit as otters times three.
Three times more otters – River otters are most active around sunrise and sunset, which are not optimal viewing times for guests. Four new otters will be added to the two that currently call the Aquarium home, enabling all six to rotate on and off exhibit in various groupings throughout the day. When one group is ready for a mid-day nap, another group will be ready to play and explore their new surroundings. “We’re going to create an exhibit that’s a more enriching environment for the otters, giving them more opportunities to show off their boisterous sides,” said Andrews.
Three times more land – Otters are terrestrial animals that swim in the water. Guests will still be able to see the remarkable way these furry critters use their paws and tails to twist and turn underwater, but the redesigned space will give the otters more opportunities to lope along a multi-tiered landscape.
“There’s more shoreline so they can jump in and out of the water and playfully tussle with one another,” said Andrews. “The terrain of the exhibit will also feature various pools, a couple of waterfalls and natural substrate they can dig in and explore.” Behind the scenes there will be more space to care for and train the otters.
Three times more viewing – When visitors enter the redesigned Cove Forest, they’ll be drawn in by the expansive view of the new otter exhibit. It will stretch from where the stairs to the overlook are currently located to the waterfalls near the trout stream.
“We’ve spent a lot of time considering ways to maximize the existing space to enhance sightlines and viewing angles,” said Andrews. “We will nearly triple the length of the viewing panels so more guests will be able to see the otters simultaneously. And instead of looking down most of the time, you’ll have more chances to see them face-to-face.”
The Aquarium’s otters are “on vacation” to meet their new Cove neighbors at another facility. The birds have been moved to other exhibits and the trout and other fish from the Cove are temporarily being held at the Aquarium’s Animal Care Facility.
The trout, visible from the River Journey Canyon, will be back on exhibit around Thanksgiving. By mid-April 2014 the birds and other fish will be on exhibit, ready for the otters return to the Cove Forest. After an acclimation period, the new otter exhibit will be ready for visitors at the beginning of May. In the meantime, a new route minimizes the impact for guests who benefit from additional animal engagement programs. Visitors may apply their admission toward Aquarium membership to be among the first to experience the new otter exhibit.
More Entertainment News
Last Update on October 22, 2014 07:13 GMT
NEW YORK (AP) -- Barbie dolls, Disney princesses -- "Breaking Bad" action figures? A Florida mom had trouble with them all being sold under the same roof -- and now, Toys R Us agrees. The nationwide retailer is pulling its set of four collectible dolls based on characters of AMC's hit series -- which centers on a high school chemistry teacher who mixes and sells crystal meth. The toys have a detachable bag of cash -- and even a bag of make-believe meth. The mom launched an online petition to end the sales -- and a Toys R Us rep says the dolls are on "indefinite sabbatical." Toys R Us notes the Breaking Bad characters are sold in limited quantities and are placed in a part of the store featuring adult action figures.
AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports action figures based on the TV series "Breaking Bad" are coming off the shelves at a major retailer.
<<CUT ..003 (10/22/14)>> 00:14 "figure in protest"
Oscar Wells Gabriel
AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports the star of "Breaking Bad" has had a tongue-in-cheek reaction to the whole action figure controversy.
<<CUT ..004 (10/22/14)>> 00:49 ""
Excerpt of the theme
Here's a bit of the "Breaking Bad" theme.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An actress who was in "Django Unchained" had said she was racially profiled -- but Los Angeles authorities say she was showing a lot more than her profile when she and her boyfriend were canoodling in their car. Daniele Watts, who is black, and her white boyfriend, are both charged with lewd conduct. The charge carries a potential sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Both are free pending arraignment. Authorities say they had received calls that the couple was having sex in the car. Watts says she and her boyfriend were just kissing -- and were profiled because they are of mixed race.
AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports on the incident that led to an actress in "Django Unchained" being charged in Los Angeles with lewd conduct.
NEW YORK (AP) -- "Saturday Night Live" is taking another shot at making its cast more diverse. It has added another black woman to the mix. Leslie Jones had been a writer on the show last season. The NBC show has been criticized in recent years for not having a black woman among its regular or featured players -- and for lacking diversity among other minority groups. Jones joins black comedian Sasheer Zamata, who joined the SNL cast in January.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- She has been sentenced to prison. But a star of "Real Housewives of New Jersey" says she'd like to do her time at a halfway house, instead. Teresa Giudice (JOO'-dys) has filed a letter through her lawyer, making the request. She's sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy. The government opposes her request that all but three months of her sentence to be spent at a halfway house. Her husband, Joe, was sentenced to 41 months.
AUBURN, Wash. (AP) -- Police near Seattle say they had been in touch on and off with actress Misty Upham -- before she disappeared and was found dead in a ravine last week. Police in Auburn, Washington say they reached out to Upham four times since July, 2013 -- and each time she agreed to be taken to a hospital for evaluation. Once she told authorities she hurt herself jumping out of a second-story window. Authorities are still trying to determine what caused Upham's death. Medical examiners say she died Oct. 6, the same day her family reported she was missing -- and was suicidal. Upham was in the movies "August: Osage County," "Frozen River" and "Django Unchained."
NEW YORK (AP) -- It's something fans of Barbara Walters will find "fascinating" -- how someone who supposedly retired from TV is still on it so much. Walters said last year that the 2013 edition of the "10 Most Fascinating People" telecast would be her last. But ABC now says she will have another this year. Among those being featured this time: Neil Patrick Harris, Chelsea Handler and Scarlett Johansson. The special airs Dec. 14.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Most people would agree it takes a lot of you-know-what to mess with the President of the United States. Yet, that's just what one guy did to the chief executive when he showed up to cast an early ballot in Chicago on Monday. A young woman was voting next to Barack Obama when her boyfriend piped up: "Mr. President, don't touch my girlfriend." Obama played it off, saying: "There's an example of a brother just embarrassing me for no reason." He took it a step further, planting a kiss on the woman and telling her: "Give him something to talk about."
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