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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 September 19, 2014 07:07 GMT
DARRELL HAMMOND TO TAKE OVER SNL ANNOUNCER'S ROLE FOR LATE DON PARDO
NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a new gig -- and an old one -- for Darrell Hammond. The former "Saturday Night Live" cast member is now the show's new announcer, taking over the job Don Pardo had until he died earlier this year. Hammond says his goal is to get viewers to recall Pardo's voice -- without doing an impersonation of it. That wasn't the approach Hammond took some years ago -- when he occasionally filled in for Pardo. Hammond went behind the mic six times when Pardo couldn't go. NBC didn't announce the replacement -- and few people figured it out. Hammond is already the longest-running cast member of SNL. And he suggests his role may get even larger. He says he doesn't know if he will revive his impersonation of former president Bill Clinton -- should his wife Hillary decide to run for president.
AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports Darrell Hammond will be the new announcer for NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
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Sound of the opening theme for "Saturday Night Live."
BOSTON (AP) -- A Massachusetts woman who pleaded guilty to stalking Kevin Spacey will get some time behind bars for her trouble -- and have to cough up a huge chunk of change as a result. Linda Louise Culkin of Quincy was sentenced yesterday to more than four years in prison -- and must pay Spacey $124,000 for bodyguards he brought on because of the stalking. Prosecutors say she took part in a "persistent and malevolent" cyberstalking pattern. She claims she's mentally ill.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Is Cher a racist? That's what three backup dancers are suggesting in a lawsuit. The singers claim that Cher complained her "Dressed to Kill" tour had "too much color" -- and told the choreographer not to hire any more dark-skinned dancers. Choreographer Kevin Wilson -- who is black and danced in the tour -- was fired in July. A second black dancer claims she was let go -- also for racial reasons. A publicist for Cher says the accusations against the veteran performer are "ridiculous" and "couldn't be further from the truth." The lawsuit seeks more than $10 million in damages. Cher had to postpone three weeks of shows because of a viral infection earlier this month.
Three backup dancers are suing Cher. The AP's Jamie Friar reports the dancers charge racial and age discrimination
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Excerpt of Cher
Excerpt of Cher, performing "Believe."
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Excerpt of Cher
Excerpt of Cher performing "If I Could Turn Back Time."
NICKI MINAJ-WIG SUIT
ATLANTA (AP) -- Hair today -- gone tomorrow. A federal judge in Atlanta has yanked off a lawsuit filed against Nicki Minaj. The suit was laid down by the rapper's former wig designer. Terrence Davidson sued Minaj and her company for, among other things, flipping out on launching a reality TV show and a wig line. The suit also claims Minaj swiped his design for hairpieces. Lawyers for Minaj filed a motion to dismiss, claiming the suit's roots weren't solid in that the plaintiff failed to state a viable claims. The judge agreed -- and shook the case out of court.
DOWNTON ABBEY-NEW SEASON IN U.K.
LONDON (AP) -- The good news for "Downton Abbey" fans: the show's new season begins this weekend. The not-so-good news: it will be January before the season begins airing in the U.S. It airs in the U.K. first. Not to cough up any spoiler alerts, but the members of the cast say the tough economic times are starting to take their toll. Elizabeth McGovern says "all of the characters are adjusting to a changing world" -- with some being more successful at doing so than others.
Elizabeth McGovern says the economic crisis is putting a strain on her character's marriage. ((Note length of cut))
NEW YORK (AP) -- "What does a Jewish woman make for dinner? Reservations." If you thought that sounds like a joke Joan Rivers would tell -- you'd be right. It's one of several the late comedian agreed to contribute to a book about Jewish food. Her brand of comedy is featured in "Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food." The book is due out in December and features foodie memories from people like Don Rickles and Itzhak Perlman. Rivers died earlier this month a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a medical procedure at a New York City outpatient surgery center.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Sheen says it's easier playing Dr. Williams Masters on "Masters of Sex" than it is playing other real, but more famous people like British Prime Minister Tony Blair or TV interviewer David Frost. Sheen says he feels more freedom in playing Masters because --"very little is known about" his inner life.
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