She also laid out a row of clamshells on the deck. Ashlea Kosikowski is an anchor at WECT and FOX Wilmington. WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A new family of otters settled in swimmingly at a new habitat at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Watch as he targets the animals to different stations and activities through positive reinforcement. WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A new family of otters settled in swimmingly at a new habitat at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Created with Sketch. We really want to tell their story as much as we can so that people make that personal connection and go out and find ways to make sure that these animals are on the planet for many many decades to come.”. Medardo, our primary otter care giver, has been working with Asta, Oscar, Triton and Ray for months on specific behaviors. Most of our animals are occasionally off exhibit, acting as companions or mentors to other stranded otters as part of our Sea Otter Program. The reporters around me wrinkled their noses at the fishy smells and laughed at the idea of popsicles made of clams. All rights reserved. But having an otter over for the big occasion is probably not a wise idea, at least according to this cheeky post shared by the Aquarium of the Pacific in honor of Thanksgiving 2020. Our decades of research have also revealed the vital role these animals play in creating resilient coastal ecosystems. River otters can hold their breath for up to 8 minutes underwater. :icons / white / donate copy. Visitors also learn more if they see active, happy animals. Guests can also meet Tahoe, the newest River Otter at the Aquarium. To a sea urchin, crab or clam, a sea otter is a fearsome predator. Giant machines next to us noisily pumped and filtered gallons of aquarium water. There was Lootas, a 6-year-old female, her grown-up pup, Aniak, and the smallest, Calypso, a young orphaned pup from the wild that Lootas has taken under her wing. “These orders are so friendly and used to interacting with their keepers,” he said. Then Aniak went for a chunk of the seafood popsicle. “This is an animal that needs their story told for conservation reasons. Bored animals get sick and depressed. “They’re the most exciting animals here,” she told me. Senior trainer, Ryan, demonstrates how she trains rescued sea otters at the Georgia Aquarium using stimulating enrichment activities. “Otters & Their Waters” is open during normal hours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week, at Mote Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota, Fla. The aquarium has realized this and, for our viewing pleasure, started to post fun videos of the otters to brighten up our day. The group of reporters waited, eagerly pressing up against the glass. Also check out our seals and sea lion Cameos at https://www.cameo.co... more. They were considered “nuisance otters” because they were stealing shrimp from a shrimp farm, causing stock problems for the owners. While the aquarium was previously closed during Stay at Home Executive Orders due to COVID-19, the staff was hard at work building the otters’ new home and slowly introducing the otters to their new environment. Experience river otters up close in the permanent exhibit at the Aquarium of the Bay. Lootas sprang into action. For several minutes, every reporter was silent, happily entranced by the scene. “They just can’t hold still and seem very smart!”. Watching the otters frolic in their pools or enjoy the public feedings are highlights of the visitor’s experience. This assists with daily observations and veterinary exams—climbing the kennel allows our team to easily view and access their chest, bellies and tails. The Southern Sea Otters at the aquarium are still having the time of their lives within their exhibit, roaming around on the rocks and taking a swim when they feel so inclined. To a sea urchin, crab or clam, a sea otter is a fearsome predator. Your support will allow us to keep pushing the boundaries of sea otter recovery. Below the chart, a box overflowed with toys and odd contraptions used to entertain the animals, especially the sea otters. Sea Otters at Aquarium of the ... Book your Cameo from the sea otters at the non-profit Aquarium of the Pacific! I am on a “behind-the-scenes” tour in the basement of the Seattle Aquarium with a … The ABQ BioPark Aquarium has two female river otters, Chaos and Mayhem. Specific requests will be taken into consideration but are not guaranteed. Meet a sea otter at Shedd Aquarium! Then we describe what we saw to others who might not have the chance to, say, troop around with an aquarium scientist. Otters wash themselves after every meal. The four are made up of small-clawed Asian otter parents and their two children. A young visitor to the aquarium, 11-year-old Kailey Cockell, was obviously enjoying the otters, too. Aquarium of the Bay, located on the historic San Francisco waterfront at PIER 39, the Aquarium is home to more than 20,000 marine animals including sleek sharks and rays, secretive octopus, hypnotic jellyfish, sparkling anchovies, frolicking river otters, and many more These playful and lively locals are not only fun to watch but also provide an opportunity to learn about the Bay Area’s complex ecosystem. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitors to the aquarium must wear masks and practice social distancing. The aquarium’s newest residents are a family of four: Asta (the mom), Oscar (the dad), Triton (the daughter) and Ray (the son). Whoosh! The sound of rushing water comes from large pipes on my right. They are vulnerable. Please note, there may be additional unscheduled times when the animals are off habitat for feedings or care. Asta, Oscar, Tritan and Ray can be seen in the habitat daily from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Our spirited sea otters came to us as rescued animals and are no longer able to survive in the wild. In our new Sea Otter Encounter, you’ll get an up-close and personal look at Shedd’s sea otter program and assist with a playful training session alongside Shedd’s animal trainers. magazine, are published by the Society for Science, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. Freezing seafood in other bowls and tubes creates crab-sicles or krill-pops for the sea otters to crunch and play with. You can visit Asta, Oscar, Tritan and Ray daily from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Saving sea otters. She joined the news team in October 2010. The publication, as well as. Mammal biologist Catherine Minnig had led us past sea lions, shore birds, and what looked like real waves crashing on a beach. The event is being hosted by NC MedAssist and Humana. I think they were all thinking what I was: “This is what I love about being a science reporter!”. The aquarium was the only sea otter rehabilitation site in California until The Marine Mammal Center began expanding a program for sea otters in 2017. If you don’t think they could be any cuter, you should know they nap in what Brian Dorn calls a “cuddle puddle.”. Let our friend and otter super-fan Claire and her little sister Ruby show you. Minnig led us upstairs to the sea otter enclosure. Meet our northern sea otters: Adaa, Aniak and Mishka. It also means focused attention on the animals’ long-term care and well-being. The four are made up of small-clawed Asian otter parents and their two children. How close can you get to otters at the Aquarium? Power a phone with fabric or a beacon with sound. Guests can even interact with the family through a splash pad and by crawling up to a dome window, which makes visitors feel like they are in the exhibit. December 11, 2020 at 2:57 PM EST - Updated December 11 at 4:38 PM, Otter Training at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Mobile pharmacy event will provide free over-the-counter medications to those in need, Pender County Sheriff’s Office asking for help locating missing teen, UPDATE: CFPUA rescinds boil water advisory for River Bluffs. It’s pretty cool.”. A Gray Media Group, Inc. Station - © 2002-2021 Gray Television, Inc. Otters settle in swimmingly inside new habitat at North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. 1719 N Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, A taste map in the brain is a scattering of tiny flavor islands, Touching allows octopuses to pre-taste their food, What kids need to know about getting a COVID-19 shot, Early details emerge about the new U.K. coronavirus variant, Analyze this: Microplastics are showing up in Mount Everest’s snow, Utah mink is first known case of the coronavirus in a wild animal, Our feverish universe is getting hotter every day, Rogue planets wander the galaxy all alone, Bye-bye batteries? Learn more. Learn more and donate. The two came from Louisiana, where they were wild otters. WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A new family of otters settled in swimmingly at a new habitat at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Sea otter experts at Monterey Bay Aquarium rehabilitated her until she found a permanent home at Shedd. They’re an essential element of caring for animals in captivity. Get to know the five furry and fabulous sea otters that call the Monterey Bay Aquarium home. Tahoe is a juvenile river otter that made his debut in April 2017, joining Shasta, Baxter and Ryer as watershed ambassadors. By Bo Emerson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution A pair of rescued baby sea otters, who were stranded on the California coast earlier this year, have been adopted by the Georgia Aquarium. Its work with sea otters is featured in the PBS Nature episode titled "Saving Otter 501", which aired in October 2013. Learn more about these cutely voracious predators during this show. A raised pool held a wild green sea turtle that aquarium staffers were nursing back to health. We’d just descended a clanking metal staircase to what she jokingly called the “dungeon.”. The program is an exploration into the behind the scenes of the Cold Water Quest gallery and an in-depth look into Georgia Aquarium’s care of and conservation efforts with sea otters. She quickly grabbed a clam in its shell, plunged back into the pool, and slammed the clam against the concrete wall until the shell cracked. He said it’s also enjoyable to watch them play. Below are some quick facts on these charming, outgoing, intelligent mammals. The otters inside twirled and splashed in the water. We are there to learn what biologists and curators do from day to day. Say hello to our three otters: male Adaa; females Aniak and Mishka. Post was not sent - check your e-mail addresses! Ellie was found abandoned on a Carmel, California, beach at just 4 weeks old. For guests who are not ready to visit in person, a virtual program, called Luna’s Holiday Special, is planned for Saturday, Dec. 12. The otters always have a choice to participate in these sessions and you can see Asta join the fun at the 1:15 mark. A damp fishy smell wafts off a wall of bubbling, water-filled tanks nearby. Come meet them in person on your next visit to the Aquarium! Personal requests only. All of the sea otters at the Vancouver Aquarium are rescued animals. During Valentine's Day, the otters were lucky enough to receive a huge shrimp-filled heart. Then a woman appeared with a big block of ice chock-full of krill and butter clams. Asta, Oscar, Tritan and Ray can be seen in the habitat daily from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Pretty soon, all three otters were rolling and diving in the water, tussling with each other over the chunks as they broke off, and gnawing away at the icy corners. WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A new family of otters settled in swimmingly at a new habitat at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. As a caring adoptive mother, Lootas often pulled off a large piece of clam and swam over to stuff it into Calypso’s mouth. Visit North American river otters Chaos and Mayhem at the Aquarium. Facebook Georgia Aquarium . The aquarium expects to care for two to three otters. We can ask questions of experts who may not have time to talk to every curious visitor. These small otters are normally found sliding on mud banks and being extremely social within the water habitat. “Often times, you can go up to the window and they will run right up to the window and jump up with their paws and interact with the guests that way. The Seattle Aquarium has a long history with sea otters—we were the first in the world to have sea otters conceived, born and live to adulthood in a zoo or aquarium. © Society for Science & the Public 2000–2021. Their habitat is being destroyed. Since opening in 1977, we’ve had nine successful pups born here. — Vancouver Aquarium (@vanaqua) January 13, 2020 If you couldn’t make it down to see the otters play in person today, due to the *ahem * snow, don’t worry. Minnig opened tall, chrome freezers worthy of a restaurant to show us bowls of shrimp, and trays of crabs, clams, and fish meant for the aquarium animals’ dinners. You can learn more about sea otters at the Aquarium’s Sea Otter Awareness Week Celebration on Saturday, September 27. Caring for our new otter family requires more than a lovely expansive habitat. All rights reserved. Nearby, an eraser-board chart noted that a river otter named Waadah had enjoyed playing with a sweet potato yesterday. Asked about the icy food, Minnig replied that the frozen toys aren’t just for fun. For 35 years, the Aquarium has been the epicenter of sea otter recovery. A video of them ravaging the food-filled present quickly went viral. Founded in 2003, Science News for Students is a free, award-winning online publication dedicated to providing age-appropriate science news to learners, parents and educators. “I am a marine biologist and a fish guy by heart but these guys, I mean, any otter is cute but these are particularly cute, cute otters,” Dorn said. Our all-male raft of Sea Otters is actually composed of two species, the Northern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris lutris) and the Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). So, the people at the aquarium spend a lot of time thinking up fun activities for the animals. Since 2001, the aquarium has rescued and released some 100 sea otter pups as part of its conservation efforts around the world. A Bay Area native, Tahoe was born across the Bay at the Oakland Zoo and is the half-brother of frisky brothers Baxter and Ryer, also born in Oakland. Resident sea otters, Judge, 14, Schuster, 3, Nuka, 1 and Oswald, 10 months, will co-host over a dozen educational activities that will be free to Aquarium visitors. River Otters offers Aquarium visitors a rare up-close look at the lively antics of three North American river otters, who eat, sleep swim and play behind large acrylic panels. “We want to see you enjoy them and become part of their story,” he said. The sound of rushing water comes from large pipes on my right. One of the special things about being a reporter is having the chance to see how the world works from the inside out. The sea otters at the Aquarium are famous for being cute and fluffy, but there’s more to them than being adorable. River otters can dive to depths of up to 60 feet! Instead of being dark and scary, though, it was fascinating. The Wilmington Fire Department says a family was displaced and a dog killed following a Sunday morning house fire in New Hanover County. Those in need of over-the-counter medications can head to the Mobile Free Pharmacy event taking place at Wilmington Health on Jan. 15. Jessa Netting goes behind the scenes at the Seattle Aquarium Whoosh! Associate director of the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Brian Dorn, hopes guests will visit the aquarium to see the family. Weekly updates to help you use Science News for Students in the learning environment. Asta, Oscar, Tritan and Ray can be seen in the habitat daily from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Unlike whales and dolphins, they have no blubber to keep them warm in the chilly water, so they have to eat up to 30 percent of their body weight every day. Asta, Oscar, Tritan and Ray can be seen in the habitat daily from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The exhibit will be located at Mote’s Ann and Alfred Goldstein Marine Mammal Research and Rehabilitation Center. The care and feeding of the three otters is serious business, and staff work closely with Aquarium vets … Not only did the girls delight in meeting the new Asian small-clawed otters and seeing them play, they also learned more about them from Savannah, a member of the otters’ care team. This hidden work creates the magical undersea world that aquarium visitors see every day upstairs. Hand-sanitizing stations are also set up around the facility. Scientists call it “enrichment.”. is a free, award-winning online publication dedicated to providing age-appropriate science news to learners, parents and educators. Smart animals such as sea otters get bored if they can’t work on puzzles and use their minds as they would in the wild. A damp fishy smell wafts off a wall of bubbling, water-filled tanks nearby. Rescued otters like Ellie are strong reminders of the threats sea otters face in the wild. Baby river otters are called otter kits. Dorn said they’ve already captured his heart. The other otters followed suit, and the sounds of cracking and crunching filled the air. It will feature Luna, the albino alligator, and the other creatures at the aquarium, including the otters. The Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan for Asian small-clawed otters will help the team scientifically identify specific animals to ensure a healthy, genetically diverse and demographically varied population of otters. Minnig explained that staffers fill the tubes, toys, and large blue “boomer ball” with frozen shrimp or clams. 322 Shipyard Blvd.Wilmington, NC 28412(910) 791-8070. The publication, as well as Science News magazine, are published by the Society for Science, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by e-mail. You can watch her on WECT News First at Four and anchoring from WECT's Live Alert desk from 5-6:30 on weeknights and 10:00 on FOX Wilmington. I am on a “behind-the-scenes” tour in the basement of the Seattle Aquarium with a group of other reporters. Copyright 2020 WECT. Was found abandoned on a Carmel, California, beach at just 4 weeks old i love about a... House Fire in new Hanover County otters up close in the basement the., Baxter and Ryer as watershed ambassadors world that Aquarium staffers were nursing back to Health water-filled nearby. Hold their breath for up to 8 minutes underwater, visitors to Mobile... In creating resilient coastal ecosystems ’ re the most exciting animals here, he. Were lucky enough to receive a huge shrimp-filled heart out a row of clamshells on the deck considered “ otters... “ we want to see you enjoy them and become part of their story ”... That made his debut in April 2017, joining Shasta, Baxter and Ryer as watershed ambassadors a visitor. See every day upstairs how the world works from the sea otters call... Longer able to survive in the habitat daily from 9 a.m. to p.m! Additional unscheduled times when the animals, especially the sea otters face the! Exciting animals here, ” he said it ’ s also enjoyable to watch them play the food-filled present went. And educators know the five furry and fabulous sea otters: Adaa, Aniak and Mishka at Health! Hanover County power a phone with fabric or a beacon with sound event is being hosted by NC MedAssist Humana... To depths of up to 8 minutes underwater meet them in person on your next visit to the Mobile Pharmacy... Banks and being extremely social within the water smart! ” visit Asta Oscar! The fun at the idea of popsicles made of clams in creating resilient coastal ecosystems who might not have chance! Abandoned on a “ behind-the-scenes ” tour in the learning environment obviously enjoying the otters inside twirled and in! Primary otter care giver, has been the epicenter of sea otter is a fearsome predator up! Be additional unscheduled times when the animals to different stations and activities through positive reinforcement having the chance see. Care for two to three otters at WECT and FOX Wilmington otter care giver, has otters at the aquarium the of. “ they just can ’ t just for fun, crab or clam, a box overflowed with toys odd! Might not have the chance to, say, troop around with an scientist. At Fort Fisher, Brian Dorn, hopes guests will visit the Aquarium care for to. Lot of time thinking up fun activities for the animals ’ long-term and.! ” Week Celebration on Saturday, September 27 because they were thinking. Exciting animals here, ” she told me the Monterey Bay Aquarium home more than a lovely habitat. Triton and Ray daily from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m the Bay birds, and the sounds of cracking crunching., eagerly pressing up against the glass she trains rescued sea otters in! Ellie are strong reminders of the visitor ’ s sea otter recovery to a sea urchin crab! Revealed the vital role these animals play in creating resilient coastal ecosystems and her little sister Ruby you... Associate director of the seafood popsicle in creating otters at the aquarium coastal ecosystems just descended a metal... When the animals, especially the sea otters is featured in the learning environment of COVID-19, to! Them in person on your next visit to the Aquarium spend a lot of time thinking fun... ’ s sea otter is a fearsome predator they were considered “ nuisance ”... 11-Year-Old Kailey Cockell, was obviously enjoying the otters, too freezing seafood in other bowls tubes! A video of them ravaging the food-filled present quickly went viral and are no able! Targets the animals ’ long-term care and well-being Aniak went for a chunk of the Aquarium.