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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 July 23, 2014 07:32 GMT
CLEANING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Call it a case of fighting water pollution with pop culture. Back on Monday, the official Twitter account for the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water made it appear the government had teamed up with the Kardashian clan to clean the nation's waterways. There was a message about the online game "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood." The video game lets players do important things like appear at red carpets, do photo shoots and other essential acts to help the environment. The EPA says the off-topic tweet was posted by an intern. But before it was pulled down, it drew a joking comment from the account of 88-year-old congressman John Dingell. It asked: What is a Kardashian? The following day Dingell's account indicated the lawmaker now knew what a Kardashian is -- but said that only led to more questions.
Environmental Protection Agency site: http://www.epa.gov
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Michael Douglas had the option of changing the script for the movie "And So It Goes" to avoid uncomfortable parallels with his own life. He chose not to do that. Douglas says his character's son in "And So It Goes" has drug problems, as does his own son, Cameron. He recalls reading the script and shaking his head with a smile. Douglas says he didn't want to change the story because he didn't know what the alternative would be. "And So It Goes" opens Friday.
Michael Douglas says he had an open mind about playing the father whose son has drug problems in "And So It Goes."
<<CUT ..003 (07/23/14)>> 00:14 "seen on screen"
Michael Douglas, actor
Michael Douglas says he and director Rob Reiner were in a movie called "Summertree."
<<CUT ..004 (07/23/14)>> 00:14 "many of us"
Michael Douglas, actor
Michael Douglas says he bonds with director Rob Reiner because they have similar backgrounds.
"DOWNTON ABBEY" RETURNS
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- No surprise for the legion of "Downton Abbey" fans. The show will return for a fifth season on PBS in January. The public broadcasting outlet is promising that the show "will have some surprises in it" when it returns. But that assumes U.S. viewers won't be creeping across the pond to glean hints about the show from British online posts, because the show airs earlier in England than it does here. Meanwhile the return date for another PBS series is in limbo. PBS chief Paula Kerger says they will have to wait to find out when the mystery "Sherlock" will finish production before a slot can be determined.
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Fans of X-Men get to enter the mind of Professor X. The Comic-Con pop-culture convention is offering a virtual reality experience, promoting the fall Blu-ray release of "X-Men: Days of Future Past." Visitors to the 20th Century Fox exhibit get to experience the fictional Cerebro technology used to track the X-men mutants. The 90-second virtual adventure is done through an Oculus Rift 3-D headset, while fans sit in Professor X's wheelchair. Comic-Con opens tomorrow in San Diego.
It's a virtual reality trip, into the mind of Professor X. The AP's Jamie Friar reports on one of the attractions at Comic-Con.
<<CUT ..007 (07/23/14)>> 00:07 "to hope again"
Here's Patrick Stewart as Professor X in the "X-Men: Days of Future Past' trailer. ((cut used in wrap))
<<CUT ..008 (07/23/14)>> 00:05 "together, the X-Men"
Here's Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, in the "X-Men: Days of Future Past" trailer.
DENZEL WASHINGTON TO SHOW FILM AT TORONTO FESTIVAL
NEW YORK (AP) -- The names are big in Hollywood: Denzel Washington, Chris Rock and Kate Winslet. But those names will also be prominent in Toronto -- home of an International Film Festival that gets under way in September. Washington and Rock will be among those rolling out films at the event. And Winslet will star in "A Little Chaos," the film that will close out the festival. The Toronto film fest is the considered a major event to help launch into Hollywood's awards season.
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