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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.

Tennessee Aquarium is Adding Otters

Wednesday, September 18 2013, 09:19 AM EDT

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Last Update on March 06, 2015 13:37 GMT


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It was the kind of dramatic stuff that you often see in a Harrison Ford movie. But this was real life -- and Ford was able to survive a crash-landing of his vintage airplane. It happened yesterday in Los Angeles. Soon after Ford lifted off the ground, his single-engine plane began to have difficulty -- and Ford called the flight tower for permission to return. He didn't make it back to the airport. Instead he touched down on a golf course near the runway he was headed for. Authorities say he suffered moderate injuries and is hospitalized. However, the injuries are not seen as life threatening.

A big scare in the air for a veteran actor. AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports.

<<CUT ..003 (03/06/15)>> 00:18 "until authorities came"

Oscar Wells Gabriel

AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports Harrison Ford has crash-landed his vintage airplane on a Los Angeles golf course.

<<CUT ..020 (03/06/15)>> 00:16 "through the newspaper"

Harrison Ford, actor

In a 1998 interview, Harrison Ford said he'd had some close calls while flying, but would rather not talk about them.

<<CUT ..019 (03/06/15)>> 00:08 "last plane crash"

Jeff Kuprycz (KOOP'-rihdj), golfer who witnessed the crash of a vintage plane on Penmar Golf Course

Golfer Jeff Kuprycz says this wasn't the first time a plane has crash-landed on Penmar Golf Course.

<<CUT ..018 (03/06/15)>> 00:03 "the eighth hole"

Jeff Kuprycz (KOOP'-rihdj), golfer who witnessed the crash of a vintage plane on Penmar Golf Course

Golfer Jeff Kuprycz says the stricken vintage plane landed on Penmar Golf Course.

<<CUT ..017 (03/06/15)>> 00:06 "dropping really fast"

Jeff Kuprycz (KOOP'-rihdj), golfer who witnessed the crash of a vintage plane on Penmar Golf Course

Golfer Jeff Kuprycz says it was obvious there was no way the plane could stay in the air.

<<CUT ..016 (03/06/15)>> 00:44 ""

Excerpt of the theme

Here's an excerpt of the theme to the Indiana Jones movies.

<<CUT ..015 (03/06/15)>> 00:22 "over its power (music fades)"

Archive sound of Harrison Ford

Here's Harrison Ford in a scene from "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." ((note length of cut))

<<CUT ..014 (03/06/15)>> 00:02 "be with you"

Archive sound of Harrison Ford

Here's Harrison Ford in a scene from "Star Wars."

<<CUT ..013 (03/06/15)>> 00:08 "what occurred here"

Christian Fry, Santa Monica Airport Association

Christian Fry, with the Santa Monica Airport Association, says the emergency landing was extremely well-executed. ((watch for dating))

<<CUT ..012 (03/06/15)>> 00:11 "Santa Monica Airport"

Christian Fry, Santa Monica Airport Association

Christian Fry, with the Santa Monica Airport Association, says landing at a golf course was the best thing for the pilot to do.

<<CUT ..011 (03/06/15)>> 00:12 "good, he's alive"

Carlos Gomez, resident who lives across the street from golf course where Harrison Ford crash-landed his plane

This resident, Carlos Gomez, who lives near the crash scene, says he was relieved to see that the pilot was able to move.

<<CUT ..010 (03/06/15)>> 00:05 "from the plane"

Carlos Gomez, resident who lives across the street from golf course where Harrison Ford crash-landed his plane

This resident, Carlos Gomez, who lives near the crash scene, says he noticed a commotion and ran out of his house.

<<CUT ..009 (03/06/15)>> 00:08 "a good day"

Patrick Jones, investigator, National Transportation Safety Board

NTSB investigator Patrick Jones is asked if the pilot was lucky to have survived the crash.

<<CUT ..008 (03/06/15)>> 00:12 "an experienced pilot"

Patrick Jones, investigator, National Transportation Safety Board

NTSB investigator Patrick Jones says the skill of the pilot helped keep the accident from becoming a much larger scene.

<<CUT ..007 (03/06/15)>> 00:19 "the golf course"

Patrick Jones, investigator, National Transportation Safety Board

NTSB investigator Patrick Jones says the pilot was flying an antique plane, and then reported trouble. ((note length of cut))

<<CUT ..006 (03/06/15)>> 00:10 "period of time"

Patrick Jones, investigator, National Transportation Safety Board

NTSB investigator Patrick Jones says the Safety Board sends good wishes to the pilot.

<<CUT ..005 (03/06/15)>> 00:06 "by, southwest. Roger"

Sound of Santa Monica Airport tower

Sound of Santa Monica Airport tower communicating with runway emergency response teams awaiting return of aircraft piloted by Harrison Ford. COURTESY: Live ATC.net ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..004 (03/06/15)>> 00:12 "clear to land (second reference)"

Sound of Harrison Ford

Sound of Harrison Ford communicating with Santa Monica Airport tower Thursday March 6, 2015. COURTESY: Live ATC.net ((mandatory on-air credit))


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "The Voice" coach Pharrell Williams is being called a liar. The accusation was made in court -- where he, Robin Thicke and rapper T.I. are accused of improperly swiping music created by Marvin Gaye. The suit was filed by two of Gaye's children. And their attorney branded Williams and the others liars during closing arguments yesterday -- saying they have been changing their stories about how "Blurred Lines" was created. The lead attorneys for Williams, Thicke and T.I. say a verdict for the Gaye family will stifle artists who try to recreate a past style of music. Williams had testified that he was trying to mimic the style of Gaye's music, not copy it.

Here's a bit of Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit, "Got To Give It Up." Gaye's children have sued the makers of the 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" claiming they unfairly copied their dad's work.


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Bobbi Kristina Brown continues to fight for her life at an Atlanta hospital. But mother of the man who she lived with says Nick Gordon's own life is in the balance -- because of his emotions. His mom took part in a taping of the "Dr. Phil" show that producers call an "intervention." Gordon's mom says her son is traumatized by what happened to Bobbi Kristina back in January -- as well as the death of her mother, Whitney Houston a little over three years ago. The episode airs next Wednesday.

AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports Gordon is sharing his feelings since his partner was hospitalized with a life-threatening condition.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Another person is leaving "The Daily Show" team. Correspondent Samantha Bee is jumping over to TBS -- where she will get her own comedy show. TBS is already picking up a scripted comedy series created by Bee and her husband Jason Jones, who had also been on The Daily Show. No start date for the Bee show has been given. Bee was seen as a possible replacement for Jon Stewart, who will leave the Comedy Central show later this year.


DETROIT (AP) -- Alexis Gomez was the last woman standing on "American Idol." At least for last night. The Top 12 ladies started the show, but four were limited -- leaving the Top 8. Gomez got the last slot. While the judges said she deserves to move on, she does have some work to do. J-Lo and Harry Connick Junior said she was way off pitch. But Keith Urban liked her choice of footwear -- none. Gomez was barefooted, which Urban thinks is cool. This week's shows were from Detroit. Next week, Idol moves back to its home base in Hollywood.

Excerpt of Alexis Gomez performing "Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)." COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..025 (03/06/15)>> 00:07 "sweetie, it's integral"

Jennifer Lopez

J-Lo says Alexis has work to do. COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..026 (03/06/15)>> 00:13 "out from here"

Keith Urban

Keith Urban jokes that Alexis made the right choice when it comes to her shoes. COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))


CINCINNATI (AP) -- He's the actor who played Mr. Kruger -- George Constanza's dimwitted boss on "Seinfeld." Daniel von Bargen has died. He passed away this past weekend in the Cincinnati area. A funeral home director confirms the death -- but says he can't provide cause of death or any other information. The actor also played Commandant Edwin Spangler on "Malcolm in the Middle." His film credits include "The Silence of the Lambs," "O Brother, Where Are Thou?" and "Lord of Illusions." Daniel von Bargen was 64.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Authorities in Iowa are dealing with a man who posed as an actor from the "Twilight" movies to take advantage of young girls. A federal prosecutor says David LaVera has pleaded guilty to federal possession of child pornography charges. His plea calls for 63 months in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

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