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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 April 23, 2014 07:13 GMT
STEPHEN COLBERT GUESTS ON LETTERMAN'S SHOW
NEW YORK (AP) -- It was old meets new on Letterman last night. Stephen Colbert (kohl-BAYR'), who will be taking over for the retiring David Letterman, was a guest on the "Late Show." It was Colbert's first appearance since CBS made the announcement. Colbert says he has a simple plan for his new job -- he's going to do whatever Dave does. That got a laugh from Letterman and the audience. Colbert revealed he was offered an internship decades ago on Letterman's old NBC show. Colbert says he didn't take it because the job didn't pay and New York is an expensive city. Colbert's new gig will start sometime next year.
<<CUT ..001 (04/23/14)>> 00:31 ""
Jamie Friar, AP correspondent
Stephen Colbert, who will be taking over for the retiring David Letterman, was on CBS' "Late Show" last night. The AP's Jamie Friar watched as Letterman introduced his successor. ((opens with sound))
<<CUT ..002 (04/23/14)>> 00:12 "entertaining Stephen Colbert (applause)"
David Letterman welcomes the next host of the "Late Show." COURTESY: Worldwide Pants Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..003 (04/23/14)>> 00:13 "it's gone on (laughs)"
Stephen Colbert (kohl-BAYR') and David Letterman
Stephen Colbert jokes he'll be a clone of David Letterman. COURTESY: Worldwide Pants Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..004 (04/23/14)>> 00:16 "our own way (laughs)"
David Letterman and Stephen Colbert (kohl-BAYR')
David Letterman says CBS made the right choice in picking Stephen Colbert. COURTESY: Worldwide Pants Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..005 (04/23/14)>> 00:11 "an expensive city"
Stephen Colbert (kohl-BAYR') and David Letterman
Stephen Colbert notes he was offered an intership on David Letterman's old show in 1986. COURTESY: Worldwide Pants Productions ((mandatory on-air credit))
DANI MOZ AND TJ WILKINS OUT ON "THE VOICE"
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Last night could have been a disaster for Team Shakira on "The Voice." Two of her three singers were in the bottom three and faced elimination. Tess Boyer and Dani Moz (MOHS) from Shakira's team and TJ Wilkins from Usher's team had to sing a final time each and hope to be saved by viewer tweets. It's Tess who gets the first "instant save" of the season. All the singers from both Team Adam and Team Blake were out of danger.
<<CUT ..006 (04/23/14)>> 00:23 ""
Tess Boyer, performing "Dark Side"
Tess Boyer, performing "Dark Side." COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..007 (04/23/14)>> 00:08 "the best singers"
Shakira can't believe Tess Boyer faced elimination. ((Refers to Monday night as "last night")) COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..008 (04/23/14)>> 00:09 "congradulations to Tess ((cheers))"
Carson Daly announces which of the bottom three, Tess Boyer, Dani Moz or TJ Wilkins, is saved by the instant Twitter vote. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Aaron Paul doesn't mind it when fans call him Jesse. He realizes that most people know him for his character on "Breaking Bad." Paul says he's not like Jesse at all and he hopes his latest movie "Need for Speed" will show people he can play other roles.
<<CUT ..011 (04/23/14)>> 00:15 "carving some wood"
Aaron Paul says he hopes Jesse Pinkman has found peace.
<<CUT ..012 (04/23/14)>> 00:15 "kind of floored"
Aaron Paul says they knew from the start that "Breaking Bad" would be a classic.
<<CUT ..013 (04/23/14)>> 00:15 "from, from him"
Aaron Paul says he's used to having fans call him by his "Breaking Bad" character's name.
"VEEP" - JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Julia Louis-Dreyfus has more respect for politicians since starring in "Veep." She says she's impressed by how most can keep "their ideals and moral compass" while serving in Washington. She says "that's hard, man." Louis-Dreyfus says she doesn't know how they do it.
<<CUT ..009 (04/23/14)>> 00:13 "I really don't"
Julia Louis-Drefus says she has more respect for politicans after playing one in "Veep."
<<CUT ..010 (04/23/14)>> 00:11 "long as possible"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus says her favorite type of humor makes you squirm.
"VEEP" AND "SILICON VALLEY" RENEWED
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "Veep" is sticking around a while longer. HBO has renewed it for a fourth season. HBO also picked up "Silicon Valley" for a second season. It was renewed after only three episodes aired.
AARON SORKIN APOLOGIZES FOR "THE NEWSROOM"
NEW YORK (AP) -- Aaron Sorkin wishes he could have a do-over with "The Newsroom." He told an audience at the Tribeca Film Festival, "you and I got off on the wrong foot." He says "I apologize and I'd like to start over." Sorkin says he wasn't trying to teach journalists how to do their jobs. He says it was "a terrible misunderstanding." Sorkin will get a chance to do things differently in the third and final season.
COURTENEY COX - NO "FRIENDS" REUNION
NEW YORK (AP) -- Not that you were really expecting it, but Courteney Cox says there's no chance of a "Friends" TV reunion. Cox told David Letterman that she can't even get them all together for dinner. And you can forget a "Friends" movie, too. Cox points out that the show took place mostly in their apartments, so it would be hard to expand that into a movie.
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