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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 28, 2014 07:08 GMT
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It was a gal named "Lucy" versus a guy named "Hercules" at your local multiplex this weekend. But brains beat brawn. Lucy opens at number-one -- with $44 million. Scarlett Johansson stars as a drug mule -- who gets an accidental overdose of a brain enhancing drug. She's able to harness 100 percent of her mental power in the R-rated thriller. Dwayne Johnson's Hercules only flexes enough box office muscle for a second-place opening with 29 mil. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was third. The Rob Reiner directed comedy "And So It Goes" manages just an eighth-place opening weekend. Overall, it's been a chilly summer for Hollywood, with the box office take down by about 20 percent compared to last year. But things could heat up a bit this coming weekend with the opening of the Marvel superheroes movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy."
It was brains versus brawn at the movies this weekend. The AP's Jamie Friar looks at the weekend box office results.
<<CUT ..003 (07/28/14)>> 00:13 "anesthetic. Don't bother"
Sound of Scarlett Johansson
Sound of Scarlett Johansson in a scene from "Lucy."
<<CUT ..004 (07/28/14)>> 00:04 "driven before. Great"
Sound of actors Amr Waked and Scarlett Johannson
Sound of actors Amr Waked and Scarlett Johannson in a scene from "Lucy."
DANIEL RADCLIFFE GOES TO COMIC-CON AS SPIDEY
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Was it Spidey or Harry Potter at Comic-Con? Daniel Radcliffe went undercover so he could take in Comic-Con in San Diego. He wore a Spider-Man costume and mask as he wandered through the halls of the pop culture convention. Radcliffe's disguise went beyond his appearance. He says he was doing an American accent so people wouldn't recognize his voice. Radcliffe adds people even took snapshots with him, not knowing who he was under the Spidey suit. Radcliffe, as himself, also made a Comic-Con appearance to promote his new movie, "Horns."
Daniel Radcliffe says his disguise extended to his voice.
<<CUT ..007 (07/28/14)>> 00:07 "was really cool"
Daniel Radcliffe says some fans may have taken snapshots with him and not know it.
JENNY McCARTHY SAYS THERE'S NO HEAVY BEEF WITH COUSIN MELISSA
UNDATED (AP) -- Jenny McCarthy says she never got on Melissa McCarthy's case for her weight. The McCarthys are cousins. Jenny tells People there's a "crazy story" going around that she once told Melissa she would have to lose weight to get into show business. Jenny says "nothing could be further from the truth." Jenny McCarthy will soon marry Donnie Wahlberg. She also denies rumors that cousin Melissa is banned from the wedding. Jenny tells People it's going to be a very intimate ceremony with just a "very small group" of their closest friends.
FIRST FOOTAGE FROM NEXT "AVENGERS" MOVIE SCREEN AT COMIC-CON
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Fans have gotten their first look at footage from the new "Avengers" movie. Several members of "The Avengers" cast made an appearance at Comic-Con over the weekend, including Robert Downey Junior, Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders. One of the scenes screened shows Tony Stark trying to lift Thor's hammer. He asks, "If I lift it, do I get to rule Asgard?" "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is set for release May 1, 2015.
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